GIS Data Links

The following list of links will allow users to navigate to a number of different data sources. When downloading data make sure you are collecting it from a reputable source, metadata exists, and that the data are used correctly for their scale.

Know of a good data source that is not listed? Did you find a broken link? Have data sources for regions outside of the United States?

Leave a comment in the comments section at the end of the page and I’ll update the page.

USAUnited States

Link Description
GeoCommons GeoCommons, from FortiusOne, an emerging leader in the GIS industry, allows user to upload their own data as well as download a vast variety of US and International data to their own machine or to use in their slick web mapping interface.
National Map “The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation.”
GIS Data Depot A great resource for public GIS data at both the federal and state level
Geospatial One Stop Looking for data produced by the federal government? Then come to this site first. Great search tool and lots of links to other data sources.
US Census TIGER Files TIGER files are a geographer’s best friend.
USGS GeoNames Gazeteer Data, which is becoming more and more important.
US State Data. List compiled by the MIT Library A great page with a ton of links to state data resources (Updated 3/4/2013).
US State Data. List compiled by the University of Arkansas Library Another great page with a ton of links to state data resources.
USGS US Board on Geographic Names Did you know that there was an organization dedicated to naming locations in the United States? Check out their website.


Second Level Administrative Boundaries Administrative boundaries of various nations from around the world. Must be a registered user (which is free) to download data.
Global Environmental Outlook Data “The GEO Data Portal is the authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other integrated environment assessments”
Open Street Map The worlds largest open source GIS project. In many nations it is extremely difficult to obtain free GIS data. Open Street Map data are created by its users. Users are free to edit information. Think of it as the wikipedia of street mapping.
Africa Data Africa data from the USGS
Open Source Worldwide Gazateer This open source gazetteer is used by organizations and companies around the world.
OpenStreetMap Data Extracted and processed boundary data sets from OpenStreetMap.


USGS Seamless Data Server Need to search for and download data for a specific region? Use the USGS Seamless Data Server. A great tool to download a variety of GIS information.
USDA Natural Resources Data “The Geospatial Data Gateway provides One Stop Shopping for natural resources or environmental data at anytime, from anywhere, to anyone”
Worldwide DEM Download international DEM data. Need to be a registered user to download data.
The Natural Earth A great new site that allows users to download a variety of natural environment data. Great visuals allow users make better decisions when downloading data.
United Nations Environment Program Download international population datasets or selected USGS or NASA datasets.


Economic Census Great resource for US Economic Statistics and links to other data sites
US Bureau of Labor Statistics Find current and historical labor and employement statistics


Environmental Health Data A range of environmental health information available for download


US Census US Census, a ton of information. Have a goal when entering or you’ll never come out!
American Factfinder Need to narrow down your search? Use the American Factfinder to quickly and easily find Census data.


Historical County Boundaries-From the Newberry Library Historical county boundaries are grouped by state.
National Historical Geographic Information Systems A great resource for historical boundary files dating back to 1790. Need to be a registered user to download data (which is free!).

9 Responses to GIS Data Links

  1. Addy Pope says:

    Hi, great site, was just updating your record on ( and thought i would have a bit more of a look around. Do you think you would be able to add to your GIS data links? ShareGeo is a repository for open spatial data. We are not fussy about what you deposit as long as it is spatial and open.

    If you could link to as well that would be great, it just doesnt fit neatly into one of your categories.


  2. ZYH says:

    Hey Doc,

    Great site, love it!

    I think the Worldwide DEM link ( is out of date.

    I believe the new on is this

  3. ZYH says:

    Hey Doc,

    Whenever you get a chance I believe the US State Data from MIT is out of data. This is the new link

    On another note do you know of any public GIS data sources for things like police stations, fire stations, hospitals, and etc. within the USA?


  4. Jason says:

    Somewhat regional, but full of data for anyone interested in British Columbia up here in Canada.

    Most stuff free.

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