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#1 Recommended Sites
Finding quality GIS data can be one of the most challenging parts of doing GIS.
Below are some of the top resources for finding good GIS data online. You can also view longer lists sorted by type, by source, by topic, or by geographic region. You can even see sources just for San Diego, or data that isn't GIS data yet, but could be. If you find a good source that isn't on one of our lists, let us know.
ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World
This is another avenue to obtain GIS data while working with ArcGIS. The ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe. It includes maps, apps, and data layers to support your work globally and locally.
CGIAR-CSI Consortium for Spatial Information
An excellent portal into data regarding climate change, natural disasters, Latin America, the Hindu Kush area and poverty mapping/data. Take some time to explore their spatial data servers and databases as there is excellent information there.
CIESIN &SEDAC & WDC (from Columbia University)
A very rich website with lots of GIS data from Columbia University portals such as CIESIN (Center for International Earth Science Information Network), SEDAC (Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center), and the World Data Center for Human Interactions.
DIVA GIS - Data
An excellent site for GIS data for almost every country in the world. Very easy to use, comprehensive and a great starting point for files on administrative boundaries, water, roads, railroads, elevation, landcover, population, climate and a gazetteer.
ESRI Support Center Home
This should be one of your first resources when stuck on an ArcGIS task or looking for a specialized tool for geoprocessing.
An archive of community contributed collection of open data from around the world. Uploaded by the public, data are often from public and open government website and sources. The searchable archive includes over 150,000 datasets as GeoJSON stored in Github and available to preview, download or explore in online mapping applications
GeoData Portal - United Nations
Supply of data sets used by UNEP- has 450+ variables with national, subregional, regional and global statistics and geospatial data sets. Themes include Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP. Dynamic searches for many different nations, regions, cities, etc.
GeoNetwork- The portal to spatial data and information
A product of the UN FAO, this site is a great place to look for data on political boundaries, agriculture, climate, fisheries, forestry, water, land cover/use, population data, soil info and topo info.
Global Change Master Directory Web Site - NASA
From the Goddard Space Flight Center, this site offers access to portals for data on agriculture, atmosphere, biosphere, climate, human dimensions, oceans, earth, and more.
GNIS - United States Board on Geographic Names
This gazetteer is a key resource to find the official name, latitude and longitude of domestic, foreign, Antarctic or undersea features. Note that if you are looking for foreign names, the link on the GNIS will take you to the GNS (also available as a link on this guide).
Marine/Coastal GIS Resource
From OSU's Davey Jones' Locker, this is a great place to start any marine/coastal GIS project. Here you will find the full spectrum of links for agencies, bibliographies, conferences, data, labs, software tools and more.
MIT - Links to GIS data on the Web by State, Country or Theme
This is a very comprehensive list of where to go to find GIS data by state, country or theme and was created by the GIS Services staff at MIT.
SEDAC, from Columbia University, is a well respected GIS data provider, with a wide variety of high quality datasets available.