Does the library have flood and/or fire maps?
Central Resource Library has a supply of flood maps, or flood insurance studies, for various cities and unincorporated areas in Kansas and Missouri. To search for them, enter title "flood insurance study" and the county or city that you are interested in. Most of these are on microfiche.
Central Resource Library also has Sanborn maps on microfilm. Check the catalog for holdings on the Kansas rolls. Missouri rolls all contain 1909-1940.
Sanborn fire insurance maps contain information such as the outline of each building, size, shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers. Sanborn maps are historical tools for urban specialists, social historians, architects, geographers, genealogists, local historians, planners, environmentalists, or anyone who wants to learn about the history, growth, and developement of cities, towns or neighborhoods.
They contain information on urban areas only - there aren't farms/rural areas included in these maps.
A genealogist may want to find the house/work information for their family members. They will need to know the street address to begin with. This map will basically show where their family members lived or worked within a town/city. IE: they will be able to see their family's house and the neighboring houses, or basically what their house kind of looked like (in terms of outlines and data) and where it stood in the neighborhood.
Kansas City Public Library card holders can access the Sanborn database, covering 1867-1970.