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Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) : Finding Geospatial Data: International

Information on Maps/Mapping & Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Comprehensive GIS Data Repository Lists

Carto Resources
Access to several GIS and cartography data resource lists maintained by Charley Glynn, cartographic design consultant for the UK Ordnance Survey

Free GIS Data
This page contains a categorised list of links to over 500 sites providing freely available geographic datasets - all ready for loading into a Geographic Information System.

GIS Repositories List
A comprehensive list of GIS Repositories organized by theme, developed by Karen Payne (Associate Director for International Technology, World Data System)

Compiled from Whatcom Community College - a comprehensive list of data and mathematical resources

International Data Resources

Arctic Ocean Sea Surface Temperatures
Moderate-Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Data and Seasonal Pattern Analysis for the Arctic Ocean Ecoregions

Antarctic Digital Database
The SCAR Antarctic Digital Database (ADD) is a seamless compilation of topographic data for the continent of Antarctica to 60°S. The SCAR ADD consists of geographic information layers including coastline, ice-shelf grounding line, rock outcrop, elevation data and human-presence features such as Research Station locations.

CARPE - Central African Regional Program for the Environment
An interactive web GIS for the Congo Basin and the CARPE Data Explorer lets you search and browse CARPE-related data and metadata. You can search by defining an area of interest, or by specifying a content type and an optional keyword.

China Historical GIS
The China Historical Geographic Information System, CHGIS, project was launched in January 2001 to establish a database of populated places and historical administrative units for the period of Chinese history between 222 BCE and 1911 CE.

CIESEN - Center for International Earth Science Information Network
CIESIN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences, and specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment.

Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Includes access to resources like the North American: Environmental Atlas, Land Change Monitoring System, Portal on Climate Pollutants, and Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

Daylight Map Distribution
Facebook is pleased to support the Daylight Map Distribution, map data that meets the quality standards of our wide-ranging products. At Facebook, we use maps, including OpenStreetMap (OSM), to let our users find and connect with friends, businesses, groups and much more. OSM, the open source wiki map, has a substantial global footprint of map data built and maintained by a dedicated community of global mappers. This makes OSM a natural choice for Facebook as we continue to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Daylight is a complete distribution of global, open map data that’s freely available with support from community and professional mapmakers. We combine the work of global contributors to projects like OpenStreetMap with quality and consistency checks from Daylight mapping partners to create a free, stable, and easy-to-use street-scale global map. Daylight makes these commitment to our users:

  • Daylight will always be free of charge with no proprietary data extensions.
  • Daylight will match reliability and consistency expected by commercial organizations.
  • Daylight will support the open licenses of upstream project data projects like OpenStreetMap.

Mix & match a complete Planet file with optional administrative boundaries, building footprints, coastlines, and ML-detected roads. Refer to our attribution guidelines for legal attribution text required by Daylight.

EarthWorks - GIS data from Stanford University

Famine Early Warning System Network
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an information system designed to identify problems in the food supply system that potentially lead to famine or other food-insecure conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Central America, and Haiti.

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
GIS gateway to geospatial resources within the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Access the FAO GeoNetwork site to search and download spatial data.

France: Access to Open Government Data
Beta version as of December 2011. Open Access Portal to French Government information.

GeoCommons -  Open Analysis, Data, and Maps.
GeoCommons is the public community of GeoIQ users who are building an open repository of data and maps for the world.

GIS data for Canada
GeoGratis is a portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data at no cost via your Web browser.

GeoScience Australia
Free GIS data downloads from the Australian government.

GeoSEER - The Spatial Data Search Engine
There are many thousands of public-facing web-services out there using the OGC (new window) standards (WMS, WFS, WCS, WMTS) to serve data, but they have only limited discoverability. We wanted to create a search engine that would bring all of these services into a single place, so we created GeoSeer.

Global Administrative Areas (GADM)
GADM provides maps and spatial data for all countries and their sub-divisions. You can browse our maps or download the data to make your own maps.

Global Roads Open Access Dataset
A consortium of groups, led by International Council for Science's Committee on Data for Science and Technology (ICSU-CODATA) Global Roads Data Development Task Group, is developing a digital, public domain global road map under the name Global Roads Open Access Data Set (gROADS).  The current version of the gROADS data set is available via the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).

Great Britain Ordnance Survey Data
Open GIS data from the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain.

Historic U.S. County Boundaries (and other GIS data)
Princeton University GIS data resources - Detailed World Administrative Boundaries - From the Mapmaker Trust, Scotland.
Detailed second-level administrative boundary data for countries of the world. Check data sources for authenticity.


Marine Ecoregions of the World
Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) is a biogeographic classification of the world's coasts and shelves. It is the first ever comprehensive marine classification system with clearly defined boundaries and definitions and was developed to closely link to existing regional systems. The ecoregions nest within the broader biogeographic tiers of Realms and Provinces.|

Natural Earth Cartographic Boundary Data
Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales.

North American River Width Dataset
NARWidth is composed of planform morphometric measurements of North American rivers at approximately mean discharge. It was created using image processing algorithms on Landsat TM and ETM+ imagery. NARWidth is intended to be used in a wide variety of scientific and engineering applications including hydrologic, hydraulic, and biogeochemical models. Additional information can be found in the Data Set Development page and in this GRL article (pdf).

Oak Ridge National Labs data archive
Biogeochemical and ecological data useful for studying environmental processes. The extent of data ranges from site-specific to global, and durations range from days to years.)

OpenStreetMap Data (OSM)

International streets data and transportation networks from OpenStreetMap data.
Quick and easy download access to all shapefiles from OSM via GeoFabrik

Ordnance Survey Open Data (Great Britain)
Ordnance Survey OpenData can be downloaded for free (no registration required).

SAFARI - Southern Africa Regional Science Initiative
Direct access (via FTP) to soils, hydrology, climate, satellite imagery,vegetation and wetlands data for the southern Africa region.

SALB - Second Administrative Level Boundaries
The Second Administrative Level Boundaries (SALB) dataset is a dataset aiming at improving the availability of
information about administrative boundaries down to the second subnational level.

SEDAC - Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center
SEDAC, the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, is one of the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) in the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Shaded Relief Archive
This website offers an archive of scanned manual shaded relief for use by digital mapmakers. Much of the relief art found here is georeferenced and customized to fit modern drainage vectors. All shaded relief data are free and useable for commercial and other purposes.

WorldClim is a set of global climate layers (climate grids) with a spatial resolution of about 1 square kilometer.