How Do I Find GIS Data?
While this list is not exhaustive , its goal is to identify and provide access to as wide a variety of online GIS data and resources as possible.
Framing Your Data Search
What geographic level are you trying to represent/analyze? What types of features do you need to represent?
- Do you need to represent states, counties, cities (points or polygons), etc?
- Do you need to see streets, water, elevation information?
- Do you need parcel or ownership information?
Who would create this kind of data?
- federal government (specific agency or branch?)
- state government (specific branch or group?)
- county government
- city government
- commercial entities
Would this type of data be publicly available or restricted in some way?
- Could the information be restricted to protect someone from harm?
- Might the information be restricted because of privacy issues?
- Other restrictions?
What data formats are you willing/able to work with?
What kind of online tools might help you locate the data you need?
- Data search tools.
- Mapping tools that provide access to the data too.
- Imagery search and or display tools.
GIS Data Web Sites
Web sites that consolidate many potential resources for locating GIS data at the world, national, state and local levels.
Selected web sites from the John R. Borchert Map Library.
Browse the "on the web" links in the left hand navigation bar.
Site from Stanford to help track down GIS data and imagery.
Specific GIS Search Tools
Data site with a subset of federal data and geospatial data available. After the initial search, you can filter by data type (geospatial vs. non-geospatial).
U.S. and international data.
Click on Get Data.
Minnesota State Level Resources
Data from various agencies for the state of Minnesota.
Data from the Dept. of Natural Resources
Local Twin Cities Data
Twin Cities metro area data.
Other GIS Data providers
Citing GIS Data