List of GIS Data Sources

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Here you will find a list of sources to get GIS data. The list categorizes the sources by location of interest.


GIS data for Global datasets
Name Description
Natural Earth Public domain vector and raster dataset. Supported by the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS)
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
UNEP GEOdata Provided by the United Nations Environment Programme. 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"
GSHHS "A Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Shoreline Databse" High quality, and consistent data.
ASTER GDEM 30m resolution global elevation data derived from ASTER satellite images.
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. Registration Required
IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library Collection of more than 300 datasets from various climate models and datasets.
HydroSHEDS Global hydrological based on the STRM elevation data. Includes river networks, watershed boundaries, drainage directions, and flow accumulations.
USGS Land Cover Institute Set of links for numerous land cover datasets. Although primarily US data, further down the list there is data for other continents
Global Lakes and Wetlands Database Vector data outlining global wetlands, swamps, bogs, reservoirs, etc.
Forest GIS Data includes: percentage tree-cover, population density and tree cover, share of wood in fuel consumption, etc.
Harmonized World Soil Database Combines regional and national soil databases and maps under the Land Use Change programme of the UN FAO. Includes pH, depth, and texture parameters. 30 arc-second resolution.
Datasets from the United Nations Environment Programme Includes global wetlands, distribution of coral reefs, mangroves, and more.
Mineral Resource Data System "A collection of reports 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.
Global Agriculture Lands Dataset representing extent and intensity of use of agricultural lands in 2000.
Global Irrigated and Rainfed Crop Areas Vector mapping 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.
Global Water Systems Project - Dams and Reservoirs Vector data 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 Includes raw population, population density, historic, current and predicted.
Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project Based on the above data, but includes information on rural and urban population balances.
GeoHive Population and County Statistics.

United States

GIS data for the United States
Name Description
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.
Phenology Seasonal changes in vegetation across the US. Includes start of season, time of maximum, ampliture, etc.
Terrestrial Ecosystems of the United States A mid-scale ecological classification of over 800 ecosystems in North America.
Ecological Land Cover Map 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.
US National Power Grid Data from the Federal Emergency management Agency showing locations of transmission lines and connectivities. Has not been updated since 1993.
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.
The 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.

United States Regional

GIS data for United States regions
Name Description
Northwest Forest Plan GIS Data DEM, DRG, land use, watersheds, old growth, habitat, bounderies, etc.
Pacific Coast Land Cover Land cover from 1996, 2001, and 2006 derived from Landsat images for the US Pacific Coast. 30m resolution.

Washington State

GIS data for Washington State
Name Description
Washington State Geospatial Clearinghouse Metadata catalog portal
Office of Financial Managment Census data; economy; county government finance; human services; etc.
Washington State GIS Data University of Washington Libraries
Geomorphological Research Group University of Washington
PRISM Puget Sound (University of Washington)
WSDOT Washington State Department of Transportation
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.