Hamilton College is one hour south of the Adirondack Mountains, home of the Adirondack State Park. Here are a few mapping resources which might be useful in studying this area of beautiful landscapes and historic villages, landmarks in New York State history and economic challenges in the present. Some resources are specific to the Adirondacks, while other sites are general resources which contain relevant material if one performs a well-defined search.
So let's start with the Adirondack Park Agency's Maps and GIS page, which includes maps, spatial data, statistics and publications.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage maintains an interactive map with information about significant architectural properties.
Adirondack Regional GIS (Frontier Spatial) is no longer being actively maintained, but it's a nice "proof of concept" site, as the author notes, of how a regional spatial infrastructure might be built and maintained.
NYS Orthos allows you to download data via an interactive application. Just zoom in to the area you want.
You can also download orthoimagery directly by county at NYS Statewide Digital Orthoimagery. The county listing can be further refined by township.
The Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository is also a clearinghouse for information about New York State. You can select "Adirondack Park" from the Browse Data page in the last column, "Spatial Series."
The New York State Museum provides a nice collection of datasets for New York State. There is a separate "Adirondack sheet" for every category.
The USGS National Map Viewer and Download Platform includes layers of Elevation, Orthoimagery, Hydrography, Geographic Names, Boundaries, Transportation, Structures, and Land Cover data.
Historical census data (1790-2012) is available free of charge from the National Historical GIS site.