UCB Libraries

Geospatial Data

landsat image

 

The Map Library has geospatial data from many government and commercial sources. Contact library staff for general data questions and in-depth research assistance in locating GIS data. You may also wish to review the GIS Data Research Guide: A Guide to Finding Geospatial Data for Research.

 

  • Colorado
  • U.S.
  • International
  • Databases
  • In the Library
  • Tutorials & Guides

 

Click each of the categeory titles below to find data.

 

+ General & Multidisciplinary Data

 

USDA Geospatial Data Gateway (Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Includes transportation, census, hydrography, hydrology, topographic (DRGs), quadrangle indexes, elevation, ortho Imagery, geographic names, land use land cover, soils, conservation easements, climate, precipitation, and temperature. Click on "Get Data" green button, then select "Colorado" from list of states in drop-down menu.

 

ColoradoView

Remote sensing and geospatial data, including Landsat, MODIS, aerial remote sensing (10 meter Digital Elevation Model (DEM)), and aerial photography of selected Colorado features.

Political and natural resources geospatial data for Colorado and the U.S. (Political: Colorado Census Bureau, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Quads, boundaries, roads, etc. Natural Resources: Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Hydrology, Colorado Geology, Colorado Soil, Colorado Oil and Gas, and others.)

 

+ Geologic Data

 

Colorado Geological Survey

Browse the Bookstore. Other datasets seem to exist outside of the Bookstore but may be hard to find. (For example, The Abandoned Mine Lands dataset dataset).

 

Colorado Geologic Map Data (USGS)

A GIS database of geologic units and structural features in Colorado, with lithology, age, data structure, and format written and arranged just like the other states.

 

+ Regional Data

 

Data for counties near Boulder County

 

DRCOG: Denver Regional Council of Governments
Regional data and maps

 

Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research Site
Downloadable GIS data for Niwot Ridge and Green Lakes Valley.

 

Niwot Ridge and Green Lakes Valley

High resolution orthoimagery and DEMs

 

San Juan Mountains: GIS Data and Resources

Data from USGS, NAIP, CDOT, DOW, Census and others for the San Juan Mountain region

 

+ Additional Data

 

Bureau of Land Managment (BLM) Colorado
Datasets for Colorado from the Bureau of Land Management-Colorado.

 

Colorado's Decision Support Systems
Colorado Water Conservation Board and Colorado Division of Water Resources. Site includes downloadable data and a map viewer.

 

Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Political boundaries, TIGER 2010, 2000, 1995

 

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)

Data available as statewide or county files.

 

Colorado Division of Water Resources
Download GIS datasets for a wide range of water related research

 

Colorado Division of Wildlife's Natural Diversity Information Source
Species maps, vegetation, hydrography, and CDOW boundary data. Also see the Natural Diversity Information Source for interactive maps and data such as land use, development, hunting, and more.

 

Colorado Spatial Reference Network
Information about continuously operating Global Positioning System (GPS) reference stations and networks located throughout the state.

 

CORRD: Colorado Renewable Resource Database
An interactive map of wind classes, transmission lines, and federal lands in Colorado. Click on "download maps" to download datasets, including wind speed. (Works best in Internet Explorer.)

 

US Fish and Wildlife service

Colorado data holdings are rolled into national data.

 

US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region GIS Data Library
Data files are in compressed KML (KMZ) format.

 

 

 

Be sure to look at the International Data tab for worldwide resources that provide data for the U.S.

 

+ General and Multidisciplinary Data

 

USDA Geospatial Data Gateway (Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Includes transportation, census, hydrography, hydrology, topographic (DRGs), quadrangle indexes, elevation, ortho Imagery, geographic names, land use land cover, soils, conservation easements, climate, precipitation, and temperature.

 

National Map
Preview and download data available in the public domain. Base data layers: structures, transportation, hydrography, land cover, contours, imagery.

 

National Atlas Map Maker

Choose from hundreds of layers of geographic information.

 

+ Data by State

 

USDA Geospatial Data Gateway (Natural Resources Conservation Service): Order by State

Order map layers for an entire state.

 

AmericaView: Imagery and Data Resource (USGS)

Find data archives or links to Landsat and other public domain imagery from 39 states.

 

State Data GIS Clearinghouse Directory

List of state GIS resources at GISuser.com.

 

GIS Data Depot

Data listed by state.

 

University of Arkansas: Maps and Geographic Information Systems

Geospatial and attribute links.

 

+ USGS Data

 

Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Browse by type of data or by data discovery tool (aerial photography, satellite imagery, elevation, land cover). EROS Data Discovery Tools include:

  • Earth Explorer: Search, preview, and download individual High Resolution Orthoimagery files. Search by map interface, text search, or coordinates.
  • Global Visualization Viewer: Search and order tool for aerial and satellite products distributed by the USGS and NASA. Graphical map interface.

Maps, Imagery, and Publications

Overview of several USGS datasets including Digital Line Graphs (DLGs), Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles (DOQs), National Elevation Dataset (NED), National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), Land Use and Land Cover Data.

 

Center for LIDAR Information Coordination and Knowledge (CLICK)
Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Data Viewer, bare earth elevation data

 

Mineral Resources Program Spatial Datasets 

Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Mineral Resources). USGS List of Digital State Geologic Maps from the Mineral Resources Program.

 

National Geologic Map Database (USGS)
Database to search for geologic maps, reports, and data. Includes USGS and state geological survey publications.


+ Additional Data

 

Bureau of Land Management
List of various federal-level BLM GIS data sites and data sites by state.

 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

"Data files for BOEM Offshore block grids, boundaries, active leases, wells, pipelines, and more."

 

Census Data

Digital Coast (NOAA Coastal Services Center)

Access to coastal data managed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, including lidar, land cover, imagery, and benthic data.

 

EPA Environmental Dataset Gateway
Easy to use search interface for water quality, hazardous waste, and other environmental data the EPA collects.

 

FSGeodata Clearinghouse (Forest Service)

Clearinghouse of the U.S. Forest Service: digital maps, vector data, raster data and links to other GIS data collections and resources.

 

GIS Data Depot

Nationwide data.

 

National Geodetic Survey, Remote Sensing Division (NOAA)
Includes the Aeronautical Survey Program, the Coastal Mapping Program and Emergency Response Imagery.

National Park Service: GIS Homepage
GIS data available for the National Parks. Also, the NPS’s use of GIS and technical applications.


National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): Dynamic Maps and GIS Data
Biomass, solar, and wind datasets, available for download.

 

National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM)

This site provides public access to high-resolution airborne laser swath mapping data (ALSM) acquired by NCALM for NSF sponsored research projects.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife: National GIS Datasets

Coastal Barrier Resources System, Critical Habitat, USFWS Ecosystem Regions, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, Migratory Bird Conservation, North American Bird Conservation Joint Ventures, National Wetlands Inventory, National Wildlife Refuge System: Boundary, Roads, Trails.

 

Urban Transition Project
The Urban Transition Historical GIS Project uses historical census data to document the state of U.S. cities from the end of the 19th Century into the early 20th Century. Includes web-based maps and downloadable data.

 

 

 

Click each of the categeory titles below to find data.

 

+ Geospatial Data: Lists for Individual Countries

 

DIVA-GIS

Download country level data for any country in the world: administrative boundaries, roads, railroads, altitude, land cover, population density.

 

GIS Data Depot

Data downloads and custom CD creation. Search by country to download GIS data. Lots of free data.

 

International Geospatial and Attribute Links

University of Arkansas, Maps and Geographic Information Systems

 

+ Data: Canada

 

GeoGratis
Canada's geospatial data clearinghouse.

 

Digital Geoscience Maps
"The Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) has published about 400 maps digitally over the past 15 years. The geological polygons for approximately 250 of these maps are currently being made available to find, preview, and download as ESRI shape files through this map search tool."

 

Centre d'information géographique et statistique of the Université Laval Library :

Data for Canada, interface in French. Search for Data by categories.


GEORIA - University of Toronto
Georeferenced Databases for Assessing the Historical Conditions of Health and Environmental Problems: various historical data, including census data, for Canada.

 

+ Worldwide Coverage

 

CIESIN (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) Earth Institute, Columbia University

Interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment

CIESIN hosts:

Climate Data Online (National Climatic Data Center, NOAA)

US and international climate data.

 

Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Discovery Portal (National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA)

DEMs may be bathymetric, topographic, or a merged combination of both.

 

Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Browse by type of data or by data discovery tool (aerial photography, satellite imagery, elevation, land cover). EROS Data Discovery Tools include:

  • Earth Explorer: Search, preview, and download individual High Resolution Orthoimagery files. Search by map interface, text search, or coordinates.
  • Global Visualization Viewer: Search and order tool for aerial and satellite products distributed by the USGS and NASA. Graphical map interface.

Environmental Data Explorer, United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)

Environmental data, covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP.

 

Epi Info, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Administrative boundaries for all seven continents. Links to demographic, health, and environmental data.

 

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations: GeoNetwork

Portal to geospatial data from the Food and Agriculture Organization. Dataset categories: administrative and political boundaries, agriculture and livestock, applied ecology, biological and ecological resources, climate and agroclimatology, fisheries, forestry, hydrology and water resources, land cover and land use, population and socio-economic indicators, soils and soil resources, topography.

 

Geo.data.gov
Access to over 400,000 federal geospatial datasets, maps, and services. Search and link to live maps, features, and catalog services, downloadable data sets, images, clearinghouses, map files, and more.

 

Global Change Master Directory (NASA)
"The GCMD holds more than 25,000 Earth science data set and service descriptions, which cover subject areas within the Earth and environmental sciences."

 

Global Land Cover Facility (University of Maryland)

Research focusing on land cover and land cover change from local to global scales. ASTER, IKONOS, Landsat, GeoCover, MODIS, QuickBird, Orbview, and SRTM data available for download. Please note Intellectual Property Rights and Source notes/restrictions for each dataset.

 

Harmonized World Soil Database

A 30 arc-second raster database with over 16000 different soil mapping units.

Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) (University of Michigan)

ICPSR offers more than 500,000 digital files containing social science research data. Disciplines represented include political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, terrorism, health and medical care, early education, education, racial and ethnic minorities, psychology, law, substance abuse and mental health, and more.

 

Natural Earth

Free vector and raster map data at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110m scales. For each scale, themes are listed on Cultural, Physical, and Raster category pages.Most data contain embedded feature names, which are ranked by relative importance.

 

Orthoimagery Resources
Free orthoimagery from NASA's World Wind wiki.

 

Unidata (UCAR, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research)
Earth-related data: Includes Forecast Model Output, Satellite Data, Radar Data, Lightning Data, Wind Profiler Data, Aircraft-Borne (ACARS) GPS Meteo. (SuomiNet)

 

UNdata (United Nations)

Searches 34 UN databases and 60 million records.Themes include Agriculture, Crime, Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Development, Industry, Information and Communication Technology, National Accounts, Population, Refugees, Tourism, Trade.

 

World Bank: Data Catalog

World Bank Data: Agriculture and Rural Development, Aid Effectiveness, Climate Change, Economic Policy and External Debt, Education, Energy and Mining, Environment, Financial Sector, Gender, Health, Infrastructure, Labor and Social Protection, Poverty, Private Sector, Public Sector, Science and Technology, Social Development, Urban Development

 

World Health Organization

WHO Data: Mortality, Health Systems, Environmental Health, Noncommunicable Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Health Equity, Road Safety, Millennium Devlopment Goals

 

 

 

Unfortunately, there aren’t large databases of GIS data like there are for textual data. A small selection of databases with data (both GIS-ready and not GIS-ready) is listed below.

 

+ Geologic and Related Data

 

GeoRef
The database for research in the geosciences and the only one that you can begin to narrow down searches to just geospatial data. Use the subject headings for GIS data as shown in the first line. Add other keywords or subjects for place or theme, as in the examples in the second and third lines below.

 

screen shot

 

+ Demographic and Social Sciences Data

 

American FactFinder
Contains U.S. population, housing, industry, and business data. Can be accessed by dataset or topic.

Neighborhood Change Database from GeoLytics
US Census data from 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 at the census tract level. Need to be in a UCB Library to access. Request password for each use.
       
ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research)
Data on many different topics. Most not GIS-ready.

 

LexisNexis Statistical DataSets
Data on many different topics. Most not GIS-ready.

 

 

 

The Map Library has geospatial data from many government and commercial sources. Contact library staff for general data questions and in-depth research assistance in locating GIS data.

 

+ Colorado

 

2006 Aerial Photography from DRCOG: Boulder County and parts of Weld and Broomfield Counties. Color, orthorectified imagery with a one-foot pixel resolution and a spatial accuracy of approximately four feet. (Map Library public GIS computer)

   

Digital historical aerial photographs for the city of Boulder: Every decade from 1950s-1990s (Not georeferenced. Ask Map staff for details). See also Historical Aerial Photographs of Colorado.

 

+ Worldwide

 

TPCs (Tactical Pilotage Charts): Georeferenced topographic/aeronautical maps. 1:500,000. Includes coverage for most of the world. (Map Library public GIS computer)

 

Geocover™ 2000 and 1990: Landsat 4/5 and Landsat 7 satellite imagery mosaics for the world. (Map Library public GIS computer) Also available online.

 

SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission): 90m DEMs for the world. (Map Library public GIS computer) Also available online.

  

VMAP0: Vector data layers for the world at 1:1 million. Includes major road and rail networks, hydrologic drainage systems, utility networks, elevation and depth contours, coastlines, international boundaries, vegetation, populated places and more. (Map Library public GIS computer) Also available online.

 

World Vector Shoreline Plus: Coastlines, political boundaries, oceans, and bathymetry for the world at scales from 1:250,000 to 1:120,000,000. Coverage varies by scale. (Map Library public GIS computer). Also available online.

 

+ GIS Software

 

The Map Library has one public workstation available for GIS use with ArcGIS software.
Please bring a writable CD/DVD or USB flash drive to store your work.

Software

ArcGIS (ArcInfo package updated regularly through campus site license)

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Microsoft Windows XP

 

Hardware

HPxw4300

Intel Pentium(R) D CPU 3.20GHz

1.00 GB of RAM

24" flatscreen monitor
DVD/CD-ROM R/RW drive

 

Printing, Copying and Scanning

The GIS computer prints to an 11"x17" color printer.

The MFD (multi-function device) in the map library copies and scans in color or black and white. More information

 

Computer Labs on Campus

To find a computer lab on campus that has ESRI GIS software, search here. Enter "esri" in the "software developer" search box.

 

 

 

The Map Library and Earth Science Stacks have many books on using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Search Chinook using a keyword search for "geographic information systems"

 

CU Boulder Institute of Behavioral Sciences: Geographic Data Sources

Guide to U.S. and worldwide geographic data

 

Site License for Esri (University of Colorado Boulder)

 

Esri

ColoradoView Tutorials

Downloadable PDFs and HTML files take users step-by-step through essential remote sensing and GIS functions including downloading free Landsat data from the USGS GLOVIS website, creating multiple scene mosaics, clipping mosaics to a defined study extent, applying Maxent modeling and more!

 

Find and Use Census Data in ArcGIS
A presentation created by Chris De Sisto in 2010. These slides provide a summary of Census data products (TIGER/line, American FactFinder, and Census Bureau Geography) and how to use them in GIS.

 

A Place in History: A Guide to Using GIS in Historical Research, by Ian Gregory.

Provides information for historians about using GIS in historical analysis.