Download GIS Data
Sites with a Variety of GIS Data
- NOTE: Our Data Services department has more links to GIS data on the web.
- Digital Thematic Maps, Reports, Data, & Software
- The Greenwood Digital Information Products Archive from the US Geological Survey (USGS). Links to USGS data in several formats, including some for common commercial software, such as ARC/Info export format (.e00 extension). Includes data from USGS Open File Reports. Click the various headings in the left column such as "Base Maps," "Open-File Reports," or "Other Maps."
Some of the files are compressed as ZIP files or GZIPped TAR files. The USGS provides links to some utilities to un-TAR and un-GZIP files from their Digital Mapping Software and Utilities page.
- Directions Magazine GIS Data
- Online GIS magazine has collection of free GIS data, much in MapInfo format or generic ASCII or dbase files.
- ESRI Census TIGER/Line files
- Users can download census layers (county-by-county) for 2000, and some from 1990. Also includes some demographics (100% short-form data only) on a statewide basis.
- Geospatial and Statistical Data Center at the University of Virginia
- For geospatial data, click the "Go to Geo Data" link in the left-hand frame. Files available online are listed under the "Interactive Data" link. From there, useful links include the Interactive Digital Line Graph (DLG) Mapper and the State Data FTP Site, which includes DLG files converted to ARC/Info export (.e00) format available for downloading.
- GIS Data on Web
- "Guide to mostly on-line and mostly free U.S. geospatial and attribute data," compiled at the University of Arkansas. Provides links to other sites that have data in a variety of formats.
Includes links to US state agencies that can provide GIS data.
- GIS Data Depot from Geo Community
- Provides free GIS data and GIS software products for downloading, or allows purchase of the data of your choice on CD-ROM. Data is arranged geographically. "The majority of the data provided ... has been downloaded by our staff from a wide range of GIS Web sites located on the Internet." "Most of the vector data is available in E00, SHP, MIF, DXF, or DLG SDTS format and the raster data is available in TIFF or JPEG format." The files are usually compressed or combined in some way (zipped, gzipped, or tarred); links are provided to free uncompressing software.
- Global Land Information System (GLIS)
- Leads to information about USGS digital data, most of which is being sold.
- National Atlas of the United States : Map Layers Warehouse
- Layers used in the production of the interactive maps of the online National Atlas of the United States. Most of these layers are available as ArcView shapefiles (.shp) or in the Spatial Data Transfer Standard (STDS) format. Attribute information is often available as dBase (.dbf) files. There is information at the site about downloading and uncompressing (files are tarred and gzipped).
- North Carolina County GIS Data
- Information about GIS data is available from North Carolina counties, compiled by the NC State University Libraries. Although very few counties allow public download through the Internet, this site provides links to country GIS offices and interactive mapping sites, and has other contact information.
- North Carolina Dept. of Transportation GIS Distribution Center
- From the NCDOT GIS Unit. Includes streets, highways, railroads, etc. that are much cleaner than Census's TIGER files. Also, contours and other non-DOT data. Much data is available in both CAD and Shapefile formats, in both English and Metric measurements.
- UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) GEO Data Portal
- Data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other integrated environment assessments. The online database holds more than 450 different variables relating to the environment. Display them on-the-fly as maps, graphs, data tables or download the data in different formats.
- Includes free Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data, Land Use-Land Cover (LULC) data, and Digital Line Graph (DLG) data. LULC and DLG data are available in ESRI shapefile format in both in unprojected latitude/longitude coordinates and with a UTM projection.
Specific Data Formats or Types of Coverages
- Canada: GeoGratis
- Free GIS data from Natural Resources Canada.
- Census Bureau Cartographic Boundary Files
- Boundary files and other mapping resources that have been developed for various internal Census Bureau projects and have been made available on an "as is" basis. Files in ArcInfo export format (.e00) and ArcView shapefiles (.shp), with a more limited amount of data in MapInfo interchange format (.mif), dbase (.dbf) and other formats.
- Census Boundary Files from SEDAC's Demographic Data Cartogram (DDC) Service
- Available in Atlas GIS export format (extension .bna). Users can also order ArcInfo Export (.e00) format or MapInfo Interchange format (.mif), but there will be a delay to process these before you can FTP them. Includes counties, tracts, block groups, and blocks. From the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) hosted by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN).
- Counties: United States Historical County Boundary Files
- DEM: US GeoData
- The US GeoData catalog from the US Geological Survey includes Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data at 1:250,000, available for downloading.
- DEM: Bruce Gittings' Digital Elevation Data Catalogue
- From the University of Edinburgh. Provides information on where to purchase this data, but doesn't provide links for downloading or links to the web sites of the sources.
- DEM: WebGIS
- Free Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data for the U.S. at both 7.5-minute and 1-degree coverage in the USGS native format as well as Worldwide in the GTOP030 format.
- DCW: Digital Chart of the World by Country (See also VMAP Level 0)
- Digital Chart of the World data in ARC/INFO export format (.e00 extension) on a country-by-country basis, from Penn State. The files on ESRI's DCW CD-ROMs are organized in 5° by 5° tiles rather than by political boundaries.
- DLG: U.S. GeoData
- The US GeoData catalog from the US Geological Survey includes Digital Line Graph (DLG) data available for downloading. 1:2 million scale data is available in both DLG Optional format and the Spatial Data Trasfer Standard (SDTS) format ,1:100,000 scale data is in DLG optional format, and selected larger scale data in in both DLG Optional and SDTS formats.
- DLG: WebGIS
- Free Digital Line Graph (DLG) data available in ESRI shapefile format in both in unprojected latitude/longitude coordinates and with a UTM projection.
- DRG: Collarless Digital Raster Graphic files
- ChartTiff brand collarless DRG's from Image Peak Systems.
- DOQ: Texas
- Download Digital Orthophoto Quadrangle (DOQ) data for Texas (the files have .tif and .tfw extensions) from the Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS).
- Hydrologic Unit Boundaries from the USGS
- Hydrologic unit coverages in g-zipped ArcInfo export format (.e00 extensions) and in TARred and GZIPped Spatial Data Transfer Standard (.sdts) format.
You can search for and get lots of information about particular watersheds (hydologic units) at the Surf Your Watershed web site, from the EPA.
- Japan GIS Datasets
- From theChina Historical GIS project of the Harvard Yenching Institute (CHGIS-HYI). Free GIS files, but downloading them does require registration and agreeing to an end user agreement. Includes 1990 prefecture boundaries and coastline boundaries, as well as 17th and 19th century historical polygon and point files.
- LULC: U.S. GeoData
- The US GeoData catalog from the US Geological Survey includes Land Use-Land Cover (LULC) data available for downloading. Data is available in 1:250,000 and 1:100,000 scales. The two formats available are GIRAS (Geographic Information Retrieval and Analysis System) and CTG (Composite Theme Grid).
- LULC: EPA
- Information on Land Use-Land Cover (LULC) data. Scroll down to bottom ("Related Sites") for links to the actual data, mostly at USGS sites. EPA once had LULC data converted into ARC/INFO export format (.e00) at their FTP site, but the current location is unknown.
- LULC: WebGIS
- Free Land Use-Land Cover (LULC) data available in ESRI shapefile format in both in unprojected latitude/longitude coordinates and with a UTM projection.
- Nautical Charting: NOS Map Finder
- "Provides direct Internet access to primary NOS [National Ocean Service] imagery and data holdings for coastal photography, nautical charts, historical maps, coastal survey maps, environmental sensitivity index maps, hydrographic surveys, water level stations, estuarine bathymetry, and geodetic control points." Much of the data is available online for free.
- Soil Surveys
- The Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) Database is provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the US Department of Agriculture. Data can be downloaded in DLG-3 Optional format or ARC/INFO export format (.e00). You can browse a list the available counties (format is indicated, with link if online) or view a status map of the United States. For worldwide information, see A Compendium of On-Line Soil Survey Information from David G. Rossiter.
- Satellite Data
- Please see our web page on "Aerial Photographs and Satellite Imagery."
- VMAP Level 0 (formerly known as Digital Chart of the World)
- From the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), providing about the level of detail found on 1:1,000,000 charts. The files are tarred and gzipped.
Europe / Northern Asia
- North America
South Asia / Australia
South America / Africa / Antarctica
The files are also available on CD-ROM in the Public Documents CD collection at call number D 5.358: VMAP 0
Last modified February 1, 2012 11:58:00 AM EST