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Olin & Uris Libraries

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GIS Data & Maps: World

Please note that we only display selected links. We evaluate the sites regularly and will add new sites or remove existing ones based on our best judgment.

CGIAR – Consortium for Spatial Information: initiative of the Consultative Group for International Agriculture Research (CGIAR), linking the efforts to apply and advance GIS for international sustainable agriculture development, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation in developing countries.

CIESIN – a non-profit, non-governmental organization providing environmental and socioeconomic data to “help scientists, decision-makers, and the public better understand their changing world.”

Digital Chart of the World Data Server – at the Pennsylvania State University Libraries allows previewing and downloading of boundaries and layers of individual countries, in Arc/INFO export format, from ESRI’s Digital Chart of the World data set.

EarthExplorer (USGS) – provides access to satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products through the US Geological Survey

Earth Sciences Division – a division of NASA, providing a wealth of Earth imagery to browse, search, and download

ESRI – largest research and development organization dedicated to GIS, focusing on producing GIS software

NGA- Raster Roam – the raster Roam Search will display the requested NGA standard raster product over the area of interest. An area can be selected by clicking on the image map, providing a center point, or by defining the center point using the GEOnet Names Server.

Seamless Data Distribution System (SDDS) – a product of the USGS, enabling the user to view and download many geospatial layers, both US and international

UN Environmental Programme. Global Resource Information Database – a partnership between UNEP, USGS, and NASA aiming to provide scientific basis for decision-making by contributing environmental data and information, and methodological techniques for handling such data

Map Societies Around the World – a comprehensive listing of organizations active in the field of the history of cartography.

The David Rumsey Collection – focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North and South American maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the world, Europe, Asia and Africa are also represented. Collection categories include antique atlas, globe, school geography, maritime chart, state, county, city, pocket, wall, children’s and manuscript maps.

Geology.com – over 100 world country political maps paired with Landsat satellite images. The Landsat images show land-use patterns across the country (tutorial is available for Landsat beginners).

Interactive JAVA Map Projections – an interactive JAVA applet to study deformations (area, distance, angle) in map projections. For each of the 73 map projections actually implemented, the user can move a floating ring over a 3D globe and see its projection on the map. Other features include Tissot’s indicatrix, geodesic curves and loxodromic curves.

Historic maps (Jim Siebold) – provides cartographic images dating as far back as 6,000 B.C.; links to Internet sites on cartographic topics.

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection – link to the on-line map collection of Perry-Castaneda Library, University of Texas at Austin.

ReliefWeb – reference and thematic maps concerning current and past humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.

United Nations. Cartographic Section – thematic maps in PDF format and various GIS resources.

Online Vegetation and Plant Distribution Maps – a link to a UC Berkeley site of vegetation and plant distribution maps

View Above Earth – enables the user to view the Earth from space, looking down on a given point, based on the latitude, longitude, and altitude of the viewing point.

Virtual Terrain Project – the goal of VTP is to foster the creation of tools for easily constructing any part of the real world in interactive, 3D digital form. This goal will require a synergetic convergence of the fields of CAD, GIS, visual simulation, surveying and remote sensing.  VTP gathers information and tracks progress in areas such as procedural scene construction, feature extraction, and rendering algorithms. VTP writes and supports a set of software tools, including an interactive runtime environment (VTP Enviro). The tools and their source code are freely shared to help accelerate the adoption and development of the necessary technologies. Modeled areas include California, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Washington as well as numerous international locations.