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GIS (Geographic Information Systems): GIS Data Sources

An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, with ArcGIS Tutorials and Resources

GIS Data Resources

GIS data is widely available from a multitude of sources, too many to include on this page.  Listed here are examples of resources that may be useful to the Rutgers Community.  If you are looking for GIS data and would like assistance, please send an email at the link with details of your interests.

International Sources

Country level data including administrative boundaries, roads, railroads, altitude, land cover, population density.

(Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
Provides searchable and browsable access to International GIS data.

This server has data extracts from the OpenStreetMap project which are normally updated every day.

World Data Center System
Network of data repositories for worldwide GIS data.


Regional Sources

Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Rutgers
New Jersey GIS data.

NJDEP Open Data
The Open Data site for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of GIS.

New Jersey's Geographic Information Network (NJGIN)

Maintained by the New Jersey Office of Information Technology, Office of GIS.  Serves as a New Jersey Spatial Data clearinghouse.

New York State GIS Clearinghouse
Provides New York state data.

City of New York Open Data
GIS and other data from a variety of New York City agencies and organizations.

Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR)
Offers New York state natural resource data.



Congressional District Shapefiles
Provides historical digital boundary definitions for every U.S. Congressional District between 1789-2012.

Federal Geographic Data Committee or
A catalog of geospatial data and tools provided by a multitude of federal agencies,

Provides a map display for economic data, with download capability from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

(Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Provides searchable and browsable access to International GIS data.

An international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. It hosts 21 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields.

National Geospatial Digital Archive
This project will Create a new national federated network committed to archiving geospatial imagery and data.

National Historical Geographical Information System
As implied, old Census boundaries and data, from 1790 on.

Natural Earth
Public domain map dataset at multiple scales.

NOAA World Data Centers
Observational data centers for meteorology, paleoclimatology, oceanography.

US Census TIGER Data

A collection of various Census shapefiles (boundaries and geographic features) in TIGER form.

UDSA Geospatial Gateway
A collection of GIS data on natural resources.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) provides many GIS data resources:

  • EarthExplorer
    Allows browsing for GIS data and imagery.
  • The National Map
    USGS's online, interactive map service.  It also includes data from partners such as the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as state datasets.
  • Water Resources Maps and GIS Data
    The first link on the page includes a large list of various GIS data sets regarding water resources.

GIS Specialist

Susan Oldenburg's picture
Susan Oldenburg
OARC@CoRE, Busch
NBLibraries@Alexander, College

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