Maps and Spatial Data: Finding GIS Data
Finding GIS data using Google
- You can oftentimes find GIS data using straightforward Google searches, such as "oklahoma city gis data".
- If you want to get fancier, you can limit search results to governmental websites using the site: modifier, for example "oklahoma city gis data site:*.gov". This can help weed out less helpful/trustworthy results.
- If results are lacking, broaden your geographic scope a bit. For example, instead of gis data for a specific city, look for gis data for that county or state.
When searching Google fails you, the list below might help you locate what you're looking for. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405.744.4869 for additional help.
Local (Cities/Counties in Oklahoma)
States other than Oklahoma
- The US Census Bureau provides many datasets for download
- The USGS National Map contains a wide variety of datasets covering the US
- The Protected Areas Database provides the "best available aggregation of federal land and marine areas provided directly by managing agencies" for the United States
- The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Geospatial Data Gateway
- Bureau of Land Management Navigator
- EPA Geospatial Resources
- Data.gov is a behemoth that is difficult to filter down to a useful level, but is worth checking out
- OpenGeoportal can be a helpful source of data. Its map-based search combines results from a number of institutions from across the world.
- IPUMS Terra is a source for demographic and environmental data.
- OpenStreetmap (OSM) varies widely from place to place, both in quantity and quality, but for many areas it is the only source of freely available data. Downloading raw OSM data is tricky, so I recommend downloading Shapefiles from Geofabrik.
- USGS Earth Explorer is a great place to go for remotely sensed data, such as satellite imagery, aerial photography, and LIDAR.
- For LIDAR data, OpenTopography
- The Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) provides a variety of data at a coarse global scale.
- Natural Earth Data is the best place to go for GIS data suitable for use in polished cartographic products.