Data Resources

Start here for your GIS Data Search

This page contains links to many types of GIS data: census data, surface data, data on the environment, on land use, planetary geology, and many others. If assistance is needed, please email GIS support.

    Frequently Used Data Sources
    California Data
    Working with Census
    Surface Data
    Environmental Data
    U.S. Government GIS Data
    GIS Map and Data CDs
    GIS Data at Other Universities
    Land Use Classifications
    Software Extension links

Frequently Used Data Sources


  • ESRI GIS and Mapping Data

  • Finder! at Geocommons

    Searchable and browsable database of geo-data from around the world. Available in spreadsheet format, shapefiles, and KML files.

  • GIS Data Depot At geo community
  • Free GIS and Geospatial data and geocommunity articles focused on GIS

  • Reference USA
  • Business and residential address databases that can be loaded into your working GIS databases

  • Stanford's GIS Bookmarks: at Branner Library, Stanford University

    A broad compendium of GIS data from many different sources: from many countries, demographics, environment, humanities, and more

  • U.S. Geological Survey:The National Map Seamless Server
  • Free Data Downloads: user defined database, elevation point and profile tools, tutorials, interactive maps and more

California Data


Working with Census


Surface Data


Environmental Data


  • Toxic Releases: download shapefile

  • The EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)Program

    Is a national database that identifies facilities, chemicals manufactured, processed and used at the identified facilities, annual amounts of chemicals released and otherwise managed (on and off site) in waste.


  • Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps
  • Office of Response and Restoration: National Oceans Service: NOAA. ESI maps are available for most US coasts and some international locations.

  • California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection
  • A wide array of California GIS data including Cal Fire Administrative Boundaries, Cal Fire State Responsibility Area, Fire Hazard Severity Zones, Fuels, etc., and population resources such as the Agricultural Census for 1982 & 1987, Census 2000 and Tiger data, and more.

  • Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Mapping
  • NOAA-Office of Response and Restoration. ESI maps sensitivity to coastline oil spills. The maps are available for most U.S. coastlines and a limited number of international locations.ARC downloads are available.

  • Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station
  • Located on 86 acres of the North Campus property of the Claremont Colleges, the BFS serves as a local resource for the study of ecological communities for the students, faculty, and staff of the Claremont Colleges.

    Interactive map of the BFS (ESRI)

U.S. Government GIS Data


  • Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
  • The U.S. government's geospatial one-stop initiative, providing a singular access point to data and maps from across the U.S. This homepage provides a search engine and links to the NSDI Clearinghouse Network. geodata.gov Is the active data portal.

  • Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data from USGS

    Contains regional and global map data data for geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and mineral resources for many countries. Data can be downloaded by geographic area and subject.

  • NOAA Digital Coast
  • This project is a data delivery system that includes tools and training for the "wise use and management of coastal resources."

  • NOAA National Data Centers
  • This climatological database is available only to students, faculty, and staff of the Claremont Colleges. Login is required. "Ask Us" at the Services Desk for login information.

    Database contains:

    • Annual Climatological Summary; Annual Edited Local Climatological data (pdf); Climate Atlas Maps
    • Climate Normals: daily by station and state; Edited Local Climatological Data (available in ASCII)
    • Hourly Precipitation Data; Monthly Climate Summaries; Monthly Climatic Data for the World
    • Quality-Controlled Climatological Data; Record of Climatological Observations; Storm data
  • National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center
  • Climate data products for the United States and globe. The Monitoring and Data Index Databases include:

    • Oceanic & Atmospheric data; Precipitation and Temperature, El Nino Effects data, Drought and Soil moisture
    • Snow cover; Degree Days; North and South America Data & Graphics; Global Climate Data, and more
  • NASA's Interactive Blue Marble

    The images of the earth are a composite of thousands of images taken by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASAís Terra satellite. From the Related Links section of the site, images and data are available for seasonal land-cover change (Earth Observatory), the Modis Aqua dataset (JPL's OnEarth), and others.

  • Transportation Spatial Data

    Research and Innovative Technology Administrationís (RITA) Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Contains the National Transportation Data Atlas.

  • Water Resources Maps and GIS Information from USGS

    Includes annual water data and reports, current stream-flow conditions, and a large set of GIS water datasets:

    • Federal Geographic Data Committee Search; EarthExplorer; Geospatial One Stop; Hydrologic Unit Maps
    • National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse; National Hydrography Dataset
    • National Map Seamless Data Distribution System
    • NAWQA Digital Maps; Science in Your Watershed; USGS GeoData; Historical Water Conditions (1921-2002)

    GIS Map and Data CDs


    • GAP Analysis of Mainland California: I19:212/5 C 12
    • An Interactive Atlas of Terrestrial Biodiversity and Land Management

    • GAP Analysis of Colorado: I19.212/6:2000/Discs 1-3
    • GAP Analysis of Idaho: I19.212/12:2002/Discs 1-3
    • GAP Analysis of Montana: I19.212/26:M 26 (1998 2-disc set)
    • GAP Analysis of Oregon: I19.212/37:OR 4 (1999 2-disc set)
    • GAP Analysis of Texas: I19.212/43:2/Discs 1-5 (2003)
    • GAP Analysis of Washington: I19.212/47:W 27 (1997 2 disc set)
    • Scientific Inventory of Onshore Federal Lands' Oil and Gas Resources and the Extent and Nature of Restrictions or Impediments to Their Development (USGS 2006) I53.58:IN 8/CD
    • Phase II Cumulative Survey covers resources in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Appalachia, Florida, others.

    • The Department of Transportation Tigerline (from the US Census) for 1994 and 1995: TD 1.56/5
    • US Census Tigerline on CD and DVD for 1990, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000: C 3.279

    GIS Data at Other Universities


    Land Use Classifications


    Software Extension links


    • Georeference to old images from the Library of Congress

      Often the data is a format that is jp2 (jpeg 2000) and sid (lizardtech), which are compressed formats.

    • You must have the JP2extension installed if you want to view imagery files in ArcView that have been compressed with the JP2 process.
    • To download and view maps in the MrSID format you need a MrSID viewer. LizardTech has discontinued this viewer and no longer offers support on the product. The following location provides access to this viewer, but does not provide help or support for the product. Download the MrSID viewer.

Last updated: 3/7/2011 6:40:33 PM