List of GIS data sources

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This is a list of GIS data sources (including some geoportals) that provide information sets that can be used in geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial databases for purposes of geospatial analysis and cartographic mapping. This list categorizes the sources of interest.


GIS data for global datasets
Name Description
Natural Earth Public domain vector and raster dataset. Supported by the NACIS.[1]
Global Map Provides consistent coverage of all the Earth's land cover area. Includes different thematic maps such as: transportation, elevation, drainage, vegetation, administrative boundaries, land cover, population centres, and land use. Registration required.[2]
UNEP Environmental Data Explorer Includes global forest cover, global potential evapotranspiration, global average monthly temperatures, dams, watershed boundaries, and much more. Use the advanced search to select geospatial data sets. Provided by the United Nations Environment Programme.[3]
GSHHG Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Shoreline Database: high quality, and consistent data.[4]
ASTER GDEM 30m resolution global elevation data derived from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer satellite images.[5]
Open Topography High-resolution, Earth science-based, topography data, and related tools and resources. Available as dense point clouds and DEMs.
NCAR GIS Climate Change Scenarios Includes data used by the IPCC in their reports. Operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Registration required.
IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library Collection of more than 300 datasets from various climate models and datasets. Operated by The Earth Institute and Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory.
Global Climate Monitor Climate web viewer containing accessible climatic information from 1901 that can be downloaded in a variety of GIS formats.
HydroSHEDS Global hydrological data based on the STRM elevation data. Includes river networks, watershed boundaries, drainage directions, and flow accumulations.
USGS Land Cover Institute Set of links from the USGS for numerous land cover datasets. Although primarily US data, further down the list there is data for other continents.
Atlas of the Biosphere: Mapping the Biosphere Raster maps of environmental variables including soil pH, potential evapotranspiration, average snow depth, and more.
Global 200 Vector data from WWF of "a set of the Earth's terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecoregions that harbor exceptional biodiversity and are representative of its ecosystems."[6]
Global Lakes and Wetlands Database Vector data created from multiple sources by the WWF and Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel outlining global wetlands, swamps, bogs, reservoirs, etc.
Conservation GIS Data Data from The Nature Conservancy and associated organizations, including: TNC Lands & Waters (properties/preserves, easements and leases), Ecoregional Portfolio, Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World, Freshwater Ecoregions of the World, and Marine Ecoregions of the World.
The Biodiversity Hotspots Data from Conservation International on areas of the world with especially high endemism and high numbers of threatened species.
Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Forest Ecosystems Data from the World Resources Institute includes: percentage tree-cover, population density and tree cover, share of wood in fuel consumption, etc.
SoilGrids1km - soil property and class maps SoilGrids1km is a collection of updatable soil property and class maps of the world at a resolution of 1 km produced using state-of-the-art model-based statistical methods. Presents estimates (means and 90% confidence intervals) for pH, texture (sa, si, cl), organic carbon and more for 6 depth layers up to 2 m depth.
Harmonized World Soil Database Combines regional and national soil databases and maps under the Land Use Change programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Includes pH, depth, and texture parameters. 30 arc-second resolution.
Datasets from the United Nations Environment Programme Includes global ecoregions, wetlands, distribution of coral reefs, mangroves, and more.
Mineral Resource Data System A collection of reports from the USGS describing metallic and nonmetallic mineral resources throughout the world. Includes names, location, commodity, description, geologic characteristics, production, reserves, and more.
World Bank Geodata A wide range of World Bank datasets: schooling and financial data, etc.
Global Administrative Areas Administrative areas in this database are countries and lower level subdivisions such as provinces, departments, bibhag, bundeslander, daerah istimewa, fivondronana, krong, landsvæðun, opština, sous-préfectures, counties, and thana.
Crop Calendar Dataset Raster data on planting dates and harvesting dates across the world for 19 crops. Available at 5 minute and 0.5 degree resolutions.
Global Agriculture Lands Raster dataset from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center representing global extent and intensity of use of agricultural lands in 2000. Satellite data from MODIS and SPOT (satellite) image vegetation sensor were combined with agricultural inventory data.
Global Irrigated Area Map (GIAM) Vector mapping by the International Water Management Institute of global irrigated and rainfed cropland.
Past and Present Agricultural Land Use Multiple datasets showing agricultural land use dating from 1700 to 2007 for 175 crops.
Historic Croplands Dataset, 1700-1992 Documents historical changes in global land cover: croplands from 1700 to 1992.
Global Reservoir and Dam (GRanD) Database Vector dataset from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center on all reservoirs with a storage capacity >0.1 cubic km.
Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset Contains all reported conflict events in 50 countries in developing world, from 1997 to present.
Gridded Population of the World (GPW) Dataset from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center includes raw population, population density, historic, current and predicted.
Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP) Dataset from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (based on the above data, but includes information on rural and urban population balances).
Global Roads Open Access Data Set (gROADS) Well documented global dataset from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center of roads between settlements using a consistent data model (UNSDI-T v.2) which is, to the extent possible, topologically integrated, and accurate to approximately 50m. Only roads between settlements are included, not residential streets, and the dataset is suitable for mapping at the 1:250,000 level.
OpenStreetMap Crowdsourced data for the whole world including most things you'd find on a standard local paper map: points of interest, buildings, roads and road names, ferry routes etc.
World Port Index Contains the location and physical characteristics of, and the facilities and services offered by major ports and terminals world-wide, from the United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
OpenFlights Airport, Airline and Route Data Includes all known airports, and a large number of routes between airports (not provided in GIS data formats, but can easily be converted from CSV).
GeoHive Population and county statistics (not provided in GIS data formats, but can easily be converted from CSV).
Viewfinderpanoramas Digital Elevation Model (DEM) repository Global digital elevation model data maintained by Jonathan de Ferranti. Major areas of coverage includes: Asia, North America, South America, Alps, North, Other Europe, Africa, Antarctica, others.[7]


GIS data for European datasets
Name Description
INSPIRE Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community; primarily a geoportal; contains many resources pertaining to GIS governance in the European Union. For example: INSPIRE Thematic Working Group Cadastral Parcels — This document describes the INSPIRE data specifications for the spatial data theme Cadastral Parcels.
European Union Open Data Portal Search for and download a variety of datasets from European Union agencies.
European Environmental Agency Geodata Search for and download a variety of datasets from the European Environment Agency.

Europe by country


GIS data for Greece
Name Description is designed, developed and maintained by the Institute of Information Systems of the Research Center "Athena" to serve as a central collection point, search, distribution and display of open public geospatial information.
American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Corinth Excavations Collection of data for Greece, the Corinthia, and Ancient Corinth; contains many data resources pertaining to GIS in Greece, modern and ancient. The page is maintained by the Corinth Excavations of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens which has been excavation in Ancient Corinth since 1896..


GIS data for Brasil
Name Description
GIS Dataset Brasil Geospatial data for Brazilian cities, microrregião, mesorregião and states.


GIS data for Canada
Name Description
Geogratis Search for and download many federally produced geospatial products from the Government of Canada.

Canada Regional

Regional GIS data for Canadian Provinces and Territories
Name Description
GeoDiscover Alberta Portal Alberta regional GIS datasets on a variety of topics hosted by the Alberta Government.
DataBC Data Catalogue Spatial and aspatial data from the province of British Columbia.
Land Information Ontario Spatial data from the province of Ontario.
Manitoba Land Initiative Spatial data from the province of Manitoba.

United States

GIS data for the United States
Name Description
The National Map Topographic data from the USGS and other federal, state, and local partners.
US National Atlas All raw data from the National Atlas. Everything from agricultural census data, election results, airports, railways, glaciers, arsenic content in groundwater, etc.
National Geophysical Data Center All free data from the NGSC. Includes elevation models, land cover, seismology, etc.
The Geospatial Platform Search for and download a wide variety of datasets from this portal developed by the member agencies of the Federal Geographic Data Committee through collaboration with partners and stakeholders.
USDA ERS Data Products Data from the Economic Research Service, including the Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America, Farm Program Atlas, Food Access Research Atlas, and Food Environment Atlas.
USGS Remote Sensing Phenology Data from the USGS on seasonal changes in vegetation across the US. Includes start of season, time of maximum, ampliture, etc.
Terrestrial Ecological Systems of the United States A mid-scale ecological classification of over 800 ecosystems in North America.
USGS Gap Analysis Program The USGS Gap Analysis Program maintains four primary data sets: land cover, protected areas, species and aquatic. The GAP Land Cover Data Set is the most complete map ever produced of vegetative associations for the US. Classified into 551 ecological systems, and 32 modified ecological systems (where human impacts have had an effect).
National Hydrology Dataset Hydrological information for the US. Includes lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, dams, streamguages, and flow modelling.
National Water Quality Assessment Data Warehouse Large amounts of georeferenced data about water quality. Includes ground and surfacewater sampling data, discharges and health information.
OpenTopography OpenTopography facilitates community access to high-resolution, Earth science-oriented, topography data, and related tools and resources. Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
NOAA Coastal Service Center Coastal related datasets such as: benthic cover, LIDAR, high resolution ortho, marine jurisdictions, coastal ifSAR, etc.
US Census Bureau US basemaps and US demographic data U.S. Gazetteer, TIGER/Line shapefiles, census data.
National Historical Geographic Information System NHGIS provides free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2012.
Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Project (AHCBP) The AHCBP documents all boundary changes in states and counties in United States territory, including non-county areas never before compiled or mapped, providing unrivaled historical and geographic coverage. Primary sources are cited for every change, providing extensive historical documentation.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services USDA NRCS soil data. Can interact with the dataset with Web Soil Survey online mapping tool.
Libre Map Project Online collection of all digital USGS 1:24K scale topographic maps (as well as various other GIS data) covering the United States, available as a free download.
NPScape United States Department of the Interior National Park Service NPScape is a landscape dynamics monitoring project that provides landscape-level data, tools, and evaluations for natural resource management, planning, and interpretation.[8]

United States Regional

GIS data for United States regions
Name Description
Maps and GIS of the Great Lakes Region Great Lakes regional GIS datasets on a variety of topics hosted by the Great Lakes Commission.
Regional Ecosystem Office Information Center/Library Datasets developed for the Northwest Forest Plan: DEM, digital raster graphic, land use, watersheds, old growth, habitat, etc.
NOAA Digital Coast Data Registry Search for and download a variety of datasets from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


GIS data for State of Maryland
Name Description
MD iMap The Maryland Integrated Map (MD iMap) is an enterprise statewide mapping system.[9] MD iMap also provides ArcGIS server web services.

Washington State

GIS data for Washington State
Name Description
Washington State Geospatial Portal Links to all public-facing GIS data produced/maintained by state agencies in Washington.
Washington State Geospatial Clearinghouse Metadata catalog portal.
University of Washington Libraries Hosted Geodata, aka WAGDA 2.0 Various Washington State GIS datasets on a variety of topics at state- and county-level, hosted by the University of Washington.
Office of Financial Management Census data; economy; county government finance; human services; etc.
Washington State GIS Data A list of data sources at University of Washington Libraries.
Geomorphological Research Group Data from the University of Washington.
WSDOT Geodata Distribution Catalog Datasets from the Washington State Department of Transportation.
GIS Data: Washington State Department of Ecology Large repository of datasets for the state.
Washington State Department of Agriculture Agricultural datasets; complete map of land use.
Puget Sound River History Project Historical GIS data for Puget Sound.
Puget sound LIDAR Consortium Public-domain high-resolution topography for the Pacific Northwest.

South Africa

GIS data for the Republic of South Africa
Name Description
1map The 1map online GIS repository hosts public domain GIS information for the entire South Africa, including cadastral data, aerial imagery, and topographical data.

See also


  1. "Natural Earth project website". Natural Earth. Retrieved 23 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Summary of Global Map". International Steering Committee for Global Mapping. Retrieved 23 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Environmental Data Explorer". United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 23 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "GSHHG". National Geophysical Data Center. Retrieved 23 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model". Japan Space Systems. Retrieved 23 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "WWF's Global 200 project". World Wide Fund for Nature. Retrieved 3 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Retrieved 2014-05-02
  8. Retrieved 2014-01-29
  9. Retrieved 2014-01-29