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University of Southern Maine
Libraries & Learning

GIS — Geographic Information Science: Home


Eric Sanderson, Landscape Ecologist, talks about how the team he is part of reconstructed the historical landscape of Manhattan Island.

Finding GIS Data Sources

Data Sources

World GIS Data Sources

Natural Earth
Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10 million, 1:50 million, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software.
Open Street Maps
OpenStreetMap creates and distributes free geographic data for the world.

National GIS Data Sources

National Map
The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. The geographic information available from The National Map includes orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures, and land cover.
Geography Division of the U.S. Census Bureau
Provides geographic data and products such as the TIGER/Line Shapefiles, KMLs, TIGERweb, cartographic boundary files, geographic relationship files, and reference and thematic maps.
USGS StreamStats
StreamStats is an assortment of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analytical tools that are useful for water-resources planning and management, and for engineering and design purposes. The map-based user interface can be used to delineate drainage areas for user-selected sites on streams, and then get basin characteristics and estimates of flow statistics for the selected sites anywhere this functionality is available.

Maine GIS Data Sources

Maine Office of GIS Data Catalog
The purpose of this Data Catalog is to provide the public with access to the digital geographic data produced by the State of Maine. Users may use this site to download geographic data and the associated metadata.
USM's Digital Atlas
The Digital Atlas is a teaching tool available to all members of the University of Southern Maine community. It is built on data from MEGIS and others. N.B: The digital atlas is installed on the C:\ drive of all student computers running the Windows operating system.

Remotely Sensed Imagery Data Sources

Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Provides the world’s largest civilian collection of images of the Earth’s surface. You can find satellite images & data, aerial photography, elevation & land cover datasets, and digitized maps.
Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF)
The Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) provides earth science data and products to help everyone to better understand global environmental systems. In particular, the GLCF develops and distributes remotely sensed satellite data and products that explain land cover from the local to global scales.

Electronic Reference Materials


Selected Books from Osher Map Library

Selected Open Textbooks for GIS

Other Guides