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GIS Resources: GIS Data

This guide provides GIS tutorials, data, books, course-specific GIS guides and other geospatial related information that might be of interest.

Searching this site for GIS Data

To facilitate your search, we have sorted our GIS data links into the categories of:

Much of the GIS data on the X drive in the Data & GIS Lab can be found in our library catalog called ROGER.  Here is a link that will search ROGER specifically for the UCSD GIS Data Collection. 

GIS Data Sources specific to UC San Diego aka 'the X drive'

If you are a UC San Diego person looking for GIS data, you'll want to start with either our X drive, or our GIS links, located in the subpages of this tab.  The Data & GIS Lab keeps the majority of its GIS data on a drive called the X drive.  The data is organized geographically, roughly by continent, with topical data arrangement inside each folder. Topics are:

  • Boundaries, Districts and Jurisdictions
  • Census
  • Digital Elevation Models - DEMs
  • Geology, Geography and Topography
  • Hydrology
  • Land Use, Zoning and Community Plans
  • Places
  • Transportation and Transportation-Related
  • Utilities
  • Imagery

Remember, if you are looking for data on a smaller area of geography, be sure to check the folder with the larger geography first.  An example would be if you are looking for data for only one of the states in the United States, you would want to look in the United States Data folder as well as the North America data folder.

NOTE:  TO USE DATA ON THE X DRIVE YOU MUST BE IN THE DATA & GIS LAB. Our current configuration does not allow for the use of the Data & GIS Lab's GIS data to be accessed outside of the workstations in the Data & GIS Lab. At some point in the future, it is possible that we would have Web access with UC San Diego authentication to the X drive.  Sorry for any inconvenience!

Our other GIS data sources exist on CD-ROM in the Data & GIS Lab located in the Geisel Library building on the main floor.  These can be discovered (although it's easier to come and look through them) through our Library's online catalog at

#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, please please please let Mike know at and we'll be sure to evaluate it and add it on so others can benefit from your work!