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GIS Resources

Spatial and Numeric Data Services guide to GIS data available at the University of Calgary.

International open data


  • The National Map from the USGS and partners
    • includes orthoimagery, elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures, and land cover
  • US Energy Information Agency (EIA)
    • maps and GIS files for different energy sources, includes major Canadian oil and gas pipelines
  • NHGIS National Historical Geographic Information System provides population, housing, agricultural, and economic data and GIS boundary files, for geographic units in the United States, from 1790 to the present
  • Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
    • presents in maps and text complete data about the creation and all subsequent changes in the size, shape, and location of every county in the fifty US states and the District of Columbia

North America



All countries

  • DIVA-GIS country level data
  • FAO GeoNetwork
    • provides satellite imagery and spatial data to support sustainable development in agriculture, fisheries and food security
  • Natural Earth 
    • integrated vector and raster data, available at 1:10, 1:50, and 1:110 m scales
  • IPUMS Terra
    • integrates population and environmental data across disciplinary scientific domains, enabling research into dramatic transformations of human populations, the environment, and their interactions
  • The Nature Conservancy GIS data
    • terrestrial and water ecoregion datasets, as well as TNC holdings and projects
  • GADM
    • Global Administrative Areas: spatial database of the location of the world's administrative areas
    • global registry of research data repositories, covers data repositories from various academic disciplines
  • Open Data Portals around the World
  • Free GIS Data list of links to over 300 sites providing freely available geographic datasets
  • Mapzen data files from Open Street Map and other sources
  • ArcGIS Hub Open Data
  • CShapes
    • provides historical maps of state boundaries and capitals in the post-World War II period, available in shapefile format and as an R package
  • SEDAC Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center
    • data center in NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System, hosted by CIESIN
    • retrieve global socioeconomic data from 15 different themes
  • United Nations Environment Program Data Explorer

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