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Spatial Information Resources

This guide will help you find spatial data (with an emphasis on Geographic Information System (GIS) data), online maps, and static maps, as well as resources for teaching and learning with spatial information.

U.S. Census & Nationwide Data Sources


  • Census Geography Program
    Provides interactive maps and a variety of geographic products including maps and geospatial data for legal and statistical boundaries .
  • Understanding Census Geography
    From the University of Michigan, a breakdown of various levels of Census aggregation boundaries.
  • US Census Bureau
    The Census Bureau is the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy.

ArcGIS Resources

  • ArcGIS Online
    A portal for user-submitted data and maps, with many public and academic contributors. Includes data, map services, and (sometimes) metadata. Data can be accessed interactively when using ArcMap..
  • Community Analyst Online*
    Access thousands of demographic, Census, health, crime, and business variables using standard geographies (down to the Census block group level), hand-drawn shapes, or rings or drive times around a location.
  • Business Analyst Online *
    Esri Business Analyst combines demographic and business data, detailed maps, and advanced spatial analytics with your own data to help you answer the "where" questions. Data includes consumer spending, market potential, traffic data, and business locations. Produces maps and reports.

*Requires special link to access via Trinity's site license.

International Data Sources

  • Gapminder
    Select world data from WHO, UN, World Bank, International Agency for Research on Cancer and journals such as Forbes with interactive charts and maps over time.
  • Global Administrative Areas
    Administrative boundaries in a variety of spatial formats, including shapefiles, Google Earth, and R.
  • Diva GIS Free Spatial Data
    A variety of data types available, including administrative boundaries, roads, railroads, altitude, land cover, population density.
  • SEDAC: Socioeconomic Data & Applications Center
    From Columbia University, a collection of data sources, often GIS-friendly.
  • Mexican Topographic Map Guide
    A for-fee service that offers .shp and .drg files of Mexico maps.
  • Registry of Open Data from AWS
    Discover and share data sources that are available via Amazon Web Services. Datasets are available from a variety of sources including Digital Earth Africa, NASA Space Act Agreement, NOAA Big Data Program and many others.