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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Services: Data by Geography

This guide gives a basic overview of Geographic Information Systems and the resources available to Texas State University library patrons.




  • For Administration area, Inland water, roads, railroads, elevation, land cover, population, climate, gazetteer datasets.

Railroad Commission of Texas  - For Purchase

  • "This geographic information system combines detailed information and location coordinates for oil wells, gas wells, and pipelines from the Commission's files with base map data captured from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5 minute quadrangle maps."

Texas State Data Center and Office of the State Demographer

  • Provides census data including population estimates and projections for Texas, as well as other information from the federal government, state government, and other sources.

Texas Association of Counties

  • A central clearinghouse for Texas county-related information and datasets. Datasets include both tabular and geospatial data on agriculture, economy, financial, health, natural resources, redistricting, and transportation in Texas.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

  • "See links for available TCEQ spatial data, raster data, geographic data viewers, Administrative Boundaries, Hydrology Aquifer, Land Use/ Cover, TCEQ GIS standards, and useful GIS links."

Texas General Land Office

  • Provides a variety of data on Texas including political boundaries, hydrography, transportation, topography, ecology, parks, energy resources, and coastlines, coastal leases, oil spill/coastal response data, and coastal management program data.

Texas Natural Resources Information System

  • "TNRIS archives, maintains, and distributes the largest collection of current and historical geospatial data sets on environmental, geological and administrative issues for the State of Texas."

Texas Parks and Wildlife                   

  • Provides many shapefiles of natural features such as river basins, ecoregions, bays, parks, borders, vegetation, and Biological provinces

Texas Tech University GIS Repository           

  • A great resource for geospatial datasets such as roads, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, census, DEM, Landsat TM imagery, populated places boundary, etc. for Texas and other parts of USA.

Texas Water Development Board                 

  • Includes GIS datasets on natural features, such as major aquifers, annual precipitation, river basins, administrative boundaries of Texas and water info pertaining to wells, basins, rivers, aquifers, etc.

United States Geological Survey                    

  • A National Elevation Dataset including 1 - 30-meter spatial resolution DEMs.

United States Geological Survey

  • Land Cover, NED, Orthoimagery, aerial photography, avhrr, cal/val reference sites, ikonos, declassified data, digital line graphs, digital maps, eo-1, forest carbon sites, global land survey, hcmm, land cover, radar etc.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) - Earth Explorer                 

  • Satellite imagery, multiple landsat scenes  and DEM

United States Geological Survey (USGS) - Glovis                   

  • Satellite imagery, multiple landsat scenes

United States Geological Survey - Texas

  • "The U.S. Geological Survey currently operates about 688 data collection sites in Texas for acquiring information on surface water, groundwater, water quality, and precipitation. These sites are equipped with satellite telemetry, which provides real-time data via GOES satellites and downlinks, which enable the posting of data to the Web for public dissemination."

United States Fish and Wildlife Services - Geospatial Data

  • A good source for regional and national data relating to habitats, ecosystem regions, bird conservation, refuges, and more.

University of Texas Center for Space Research

  • Satellite and aerial imagery mainly of Texas (Astor, Modis, Landsat).

University of Texas School of Architecture

  • Provides links to downloadable geographic and tabular data files suitable for different regions: locally and abroad.

Water Data for Texas            

  • The Texas Water Development Board obtains lake levels from partner organizations including the United States Geological Survey (USGS), International Boundary Water Commission (IBWC),
Local: Counties, Metros, Cities, and Towns

Austin Historical Survey Web Tool Maps & GIS Data

  • For data related to historic preservation in the Austin, TX area.

Capital Area Council of Governments

  • "CAPCOG provides vector data (e.g. point, line, or polygon) as an ESRI geodatabase and an ESRI shapefile; and raster data (e.g. orthoimagery, digital elevation models, etc) as a MrSID file for the Capital Area / Central Texas area". Data covers topics like hydrology, geology, political boundaries, land cover, transportation etc.

City of Austin              

  • Various GIS Datasets for the City of Austin, TX  area.

City of Austin              

  • Shapefiles and Raster Files on the following themes: Address Points, Subdivision boundaries, City Grid, Facilities, Hospitals, Zipcodes, Electrical Service Areas, MUD's, Water Service Lines, Contour Lines, City Parks Creeks and Lakes,watersheds, Land use, City Zones etc.

City of Galveston                    

  • Floodplain, landmarks, voting districts, subdivisions, school districts

City of Georgetown                 

  • For City Council District, City Limits, Streets, Jurisdiction, Future Land Use 2030 plan, Parcels, Zoning, Survey Control Benchmarks etc. datasets

City of Houston Planning Data

  • "The P&D Department has developed an enterprise level GIS to serve the entire City of Houston. The goal of the GIS division is to serve the geographic information system and geospatial needs of the City of Houston across departments and among all staff and citizens."

City of Pflugerville                  

  • Provides geospatial datasets for the Pflugerville area including City Limits, Subdivisions, Streets, Transportation Plan, Zoning etc.

City of Round Rock                 

  • Provides geospatial datasets for the Round Rock area including Address Points, Buildings, City Limits, Contour Lines, Drainage Basins, Land Use Layers, Parcels, Rail Roads, Streets, Subdivisions, Zoning

City of San Antonio                

  • Here you can download GIS data for the San Antonio area that includes parks, viewsheds, boundaries, city hall, corridor plans, aerial imagery and more.

City of San Marcos                 

  • City Boudaries, flood plains, elevation, contours,

Fort Bend County GIS             

  • For various GIS Datasets like roads, DEM etc. for Fort Bend, TX

Growth Watch

  • A great resource for obtaining data on physical development in the Austin, TX area. The site provides GIS datasets, spreadsheets, and maps on development activity. See Growth Watch Data by Year for georeferenced building permits.

Hays County   

  • For various GIS Datasets for Hays County, TX like addresses, appraisal value, etc.

Hays Geospatial One Stop                 

  • United States Omernik, EPA Cleanup sites, NOAA Raster Nautical, Administrative, USA Soil Survey, U.S. Transit Lines and, National Land Cover, Geology, NOAA Weather Radar

Harris County Appraisal District                    

  • For Roadways, highways, utilities, emergency, easements, county borders

Houston-Galveston Area Council - GIS Data Clearinghouse

  • Provides GIS data for census boundaries, regional boundaries, statewide boundaries, cultural features, environmental, hazards, hydrologic datasets, land features, land cover datasets, transportation, water quality Aerial photos, Lidar, Census, Land Use/Cover datasets, etc.

Houston GIS Portal

  • Provides the platform to search for Houston city-related data and maps or upload datasets.

North Central Texas GIS Data

  • General GIS data for the Dallas/Fort Worth area in a range of file formats.

Travis Central Appraisal District                   

  • For datasets such as addresses and values of homes.

Travis County             

  • For various GIS Datasets for Travis County, TX like Travis county maps, water, wastewater, bridges, districts, jurisdictions, etc.

San Antonio river authority               

  • For Lidar, DEM, floodplains, streams, creeks, etc. datasets.

University of Texas - Austin School Of Architecture             

  • For both Statewide and local GIS datasets.


  • Provided by California Energy Commission. Datasets available include climate change risks within specific geographic areas of California.

California Biogeographic Data (California Department of Fish and Game)

  • Fauna and Flora datasets.

California GAP

  • This resource is controlled by California GAP Analysis Project and provides local and statewide datasets on topics like landcover, land stewardship, and ownership, ecological region boundaries, biodiversity, etc.

California Geographical Survey

  • Includes DEM data for California.

California GIS Resource Center

  • A geoportal that provides easy and convenient ways to search, discover and use geospatial about California.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

  • Statewide datasets covering a range of topics particularly on fire hazards, forest cover and vegetation, land use, and facilities.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - California

  • Statewide environmental datasets

California State Government

  • Provides links to other state government GIS repositories that contain datasets on topics such as healthcare, public health, fish and wildlife, natural resources, and census.

California Geoportal

  • Provides easy and convenient ways to discover and share geospatial data resources

California Department of Transportation

  • A great source for Statewide Transportation data.

Geo Community - California

  • Find local and statewide geographic data available through key maps, charts and various data types.

SACOG Info Center

  • SACOG creates and maintains a tremendous quantity of data, including maps about the Sacramento region which covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba Counties and the cities within each county. Examples of datasets provided include demographics and administrative boundaries.

SCAG Mapping and GIS

  • Map and geospatial data from the Southern California Association of Governments. The SCAG Region covers Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Imperial counties. Available datasets include administrative boundaries, transportation networks, flood data, traffic analysis, etc.

US Forest Service - California

  • Includes geospatial data for national forests in California, along with region-wide, province-wide, and statewide datasets.


California Cities

Find datasets for various local government jurisdictions within California.

City of Bakersfield             City of Berkeley                   City of Davis                       City of Eureka               City of Fresno              

City of Irvine                       City of Los Angeles             City of Mission Viejo         City of Monterey           City of Newport Beach     

City of Palo Alto                 City of Pasadena                City of Petaluma                City of Redding             City of Sacramento          

City of San Diego              City of San Francisco        City of San Luis Obispo    City of Santa Cruz        City of Ventura                

LA Metro Area



Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - Colorado

  • Statewide environmental datasets

Boulder County, CO GIS

  • Boulder County provides maps and data for topics including land use, transportation, open space and trails, and a range of health issues.

City of Boulder

  • Various kind of GIS data.

Colorado's Decision Support Systems

  • Data generated by the Colorado Water Conservation Board and Colorado Division of Water Resources.

Colorado Department of Local Affairs

  • Political boundaries, TIGER 2010, 2000, 1995 and other data sets.

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)

  • Road networks, boundaries, etc.

Colorado Division of Water Resources

  • Water related datasets for Colorado

Colorado Division of Wildlife's Natural Diversity Information Source

  • Available datasets include species maps, vegetation, hydrography, and CDOW boundary data. The site also provides link to the Natural Diversity Information Source for interactive maps and data such as land use, development, hunting, and more.

Colorado Geological Survey

  • Provides links to other statewide datasets particularly imagery datasets.

Colorado Geologic Map Data (USGS)

  • A GIS database of geologic units and structural features in Colorado: lithology, age, data structure etc.

Colorado Spatial Reference Network

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) reference stations and networks Information.

CORRD: Colorado Renewable Resource Database

  • An interactive map of wind classes, transmission lines, and federal lands in Colorado.


  • Available datasets include Remote Sensing and geospatial data such as Landsat, MODIS, aerial photos, Digital Elevation Model (DEM)


New York

CUGIR (Cornell University)

  • An active online repository in the National Spatial Data Clearinghouse program that provides geospatial data and metadata for New York State, with special emphasis on those natural features relevant to agriculture, ecology, natural resources, and human-environment interactions.

Map NY (SUNY Albany)

  • A map-based information system developed with ArcIMS, connects communities with helpful information using data from the census as well as state and federal agency reports. It provides city, town and tract level information and, in a separate mapping page, county level data as well.

New York State Data Center

  • A valuable source for economic and demographic information in New York State.

New York State Museum

  • A great resource to find data on topics like geology, oil and gas, and boundaries.

NYC Dept of City Planning

  • Available datasets include zoning, land use, city facilities and boundaries.

NYS Gazetteer and GeoData Collection

  • A searchable database of places, providing names, feature types, grid coordinates, and other geographic information.

NYS GIS Clearinghouse 

  • Browse for GIS datasets on a wide range of themes from several Inventories.

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

  • Find GIS data, maps etc. showing the creation and subsequent boundary changes of counties in the U.S.A over the past years.

Bureau of Economic Analysis

  • Regional, national, international economic data.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Regional, national, and international labor and business data.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)

  • Find geospatial data that is part of the BTS National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD) such as flows of people, goods, vehicles, and craft over the transportation networks; and social, economic, and environmental conditions that affect or are affected by the transportation networks as well as Bridge Inventory.
  • Alternative link: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

  • Obtain shapefiles, reports and other files about Social Vulnerability in the USA.

Data Catalog of the U.S. Government

  • Includes over 75,000 datasets that covers most topics in natural hazards, environmental geography, water, and weather. 

Education Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE Geodata)

  • A geodata initiative from the National Center for Education Statistics. Obtain datasets such as K-12, Colleges, School districts and other socio-economic files.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • EPA has good information on the science and population health that relates to the environment.

ESRI Free GIS Data

  • Census TIGER line shapefiles and other free data.

ESRI North America Detailed Streets

  • The site provides U.S. and Canada Detailed Streets which represents detailed streets, interstate highways, and major roads within the United States and Canada. The data could be used for both geocoding and vector-based network analysis.

  • The US government clearinghouse of geographic data held by government agencies.


  • Includes many links on where to find GIS data including census data, water resources, etc.

Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium

  • A group of federal agencies who coordinate and generate consistent and relevant land cover information at the national scale for a wide variety of environmental, land management, and modeling applications. Visit this site to obtain landcover datasets dating back to 2001.

National Bridge Inventory (NBI)

  • A database comprising the Nation's bridges located on public roads including Interstate Highways, U.S. highways, State and county roads, as well as publicly-accessible bridges on Federal lands.
  • Alternative links: ArcGIS HubArcGIS Online

National Historic GIS

  • Historical agricultural and census data since 1790.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • NOAA is a good place to start when searching for climate data such as heat waves, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. 

National Park Services

  • Includes National Park System maps and links to other GIS sites.

NOAA Shoreline Website

  • Federal shoreline data.

SimplyAnalytics (On-Campus Access)

SimplyAnalytics (Off-Campus Access; find SimplyAnalytics under "S" Databases then log in with your TXState ID and password)

  • A web-based mapping application that provides users the ability to interact with complex datasets, create maps and download data.

Social Explorer

  • “Current and historical US Census data available for download through a map viewer”.

United States (US) Army Corps of Engineers

  • Provides free access to GIS data related to Corps projects nation-wide.

US Census - American Factfinder

  • US Census website with links to Decennial and American Community Survey data.

US Census Bureau

  • US Census website with links to various Census Boundary datasets.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • Use the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator (Online Map Engine) to obtain data about treatment facilities (for substance use/addiction and/or mental health) in the United States or U.S. Territories.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Provides access to data sets developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development such as data on housing discrimination, and the public housing population.

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

  • USGS has many GIS maps of water and water data, watersheds, groundwater, aquifers, surface waters, water quality, floods, etc.

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Data

  • The number one stop shop for all free US Soils data, both general soil association units (STATSGO) and detailed units (SSURGO).

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 

  • Find regional and national data related to habitats, ecosystem regions, bird conservation and migration, wildlife refuges, and more.

USGS - Earth Resources and Science

  • Free Landsat satellite imagery and aerial photos about US.

USGS - National Atlas Raw Data Download

  • Current and historical social and environmental data for the United States.

USGS - National Geospatial Program

  • Part of the USGS website where you can find a national gazetteer, maps of America, base maps, etc.

USGS - The National Map Seamless Server

  • Environmental data on US and other countries in a different formats downloadable through a map viewer.
Entire Continent


  • An online-based interactive resource on varied topics related to Africa. It provides users a chance to view and create maps. It is hosted by Harvard University.

African Marine Atlas

  • A web-based portal that provides easily downloadable data on various key themes relevant to the marine and coastal environment of Africa. It also serves as an online mapping platform.

Ancient maps of Africa

  • The site has downloadable historic maps of Africa.

CIESIN &SEDAC & WDC (from Columbia University)

  • An online repository hosted by Columbia University that offers GIS data on topics like transportation, climatic conditions and biophysical conditions.


  • For Administration area, Inland water, roads, railroads, elevation, land cover, population, climate, gazetteer datasets.

GADM Maps and Data

  • The site provides maps and spatial data for all countries and their sub-divisions.

GIS Data Depot

  • A GIS data repository for both the US and other countries with several data free for download.

Map Library

  • A great resource for free basic map data concerning administrative boundaries in Africa.

United Nations Global Resource Information Database

  • The website provides global as well as regional and national datasets from the UNEP spatial data clearinghouse.

Country or Regional based

International Livestock Research Institute

  • A resource dedicated to documenting livestock and land related issues pertaining to Africa. Available data are primarily limited to East African countries.

World Resources Institute

  • Free GIS data covering various topics like water issues and climate change on selected countries in Africa.

Australian Government

  • A variety of free data on Australia including maps, ecological and environmental datasets.

China Data Center

  • A resource hosted by the University of Michigan which provides free statistical data and other data about China on topics like hydrography, relief maps, landuse, and census.

China Dimensions

  • Hosted by Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at the Earth Institute. It provides a variety of socioeconomic data, including Geographic Information System (GIS) databases that cover the administrative regions of China, presented at a scale of 1:1,000,000. These databases may be integrated with agricultural, land use, environmental, and socioeconomic data to track China's economic growth, population increases, and environmental change.

China Historical GIS Data Archive

  • A database of populated places and historical administrative units for the period of Chinese history between 221 BCE and 1911 CE


  • For Administration area, Inland water, roads, railroads, elevation, land cover, population, climate, gazetteer datasets.

Pacific Disaster Center - Global Hazards Information Network (GHIN)

  • Downloadable data on disaster-related issues in Asia and other parts of the world.


  • For Administration area, Inland water, roads, railroads, elevation, land cover, population, climate, gazetteer datasets.

European Commission Inspire Geoportal

  • This site provides access to spatial datasets from EU countries.


  • It represents the European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities. Available datasets include DEM, Boundary maps etc.

European Environment Agency

  • Datasets cover the entire continent and are about topics like emissions, agriculture, land use, natural resources etc.

Ordnance Survey (Great Britain)

  • Provides various GIS datasets such as topography, road networks, imagery, DEM etc. on the UK.



GeoGratis (Natural Resources Canada)

  • A website where you can find free maps, data, and publications on Canada to use without restriction.


  • Provides free maps, data, and publications on Canada. All collections and documentation are currently also accessible from GeoGratis website.

Latin America / Mexico

ArcGIS - Central America River Network

  • Provides hydrographic information in a consistent and comprehensive format for Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region.

ArcGIS - CRP5, Water/Land/Ecosystems, Central America (Mexico excl.)

  • Contains water, land and ecosystem data for Central America.

CIESIN &SEDAC & WDC (from Columbia University)

  • CEISIN Georeferenced Population Data Sets of Mexico  

CIESIN &SEDAC & WDC (from Columbia University)

  • Central American Vegetation/Land Cover Classification and Conservation Status 


  • GIS data covering different topics like administrative boundaries, water, roads, landcover, population, and climate for almost all countries in the world.


  • Various Data on Mexico including Landuse/cover and Digital Terrain Model.


  • A site dedicated to providing information about geospatial data for Latin America, as well links to census data for most countries in Latin America.

GIS in Ecology

  • Site contains a multitude of external sources for terrestrial/climatic/marine data

Global Administrative Areas

  • For Administrative boundaries of different countries and places around the world.

 Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) (National Institute of Statistics and Geography)

  • Mexico Elevation data available for download.  

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) (National Institute of Statistics and Geography)

  • An online database for national geospatial and statistical datasets for Mexico.

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) (National Institute of Statistics and Geography) Map Viewer

  • A website that serves as both a map viewer and a download site geospatial data on Mexico.

International Boundary & Water Commission

  • Various sources of GIS Data for areas along the US-Mexico Border

Natural Earth

  • Coastline data of several Caribbean countries 


  • Contains International Weather Hazards Assessment Weekly Updates: 

Princeton Empirical Studies of Conflict (ESOC)

  • Provides various data on Mexico including Demographic/Socio-economic data, Administrative boundaries, Transportation, Public Opinion on Security and Crime data.

Princeton - Empirical Studies of Conflict - Mexico Homicides (2006 – 2011)

  • Geo-referenced yearly data at the municipal level on homicides reported in death certificates from 2006 to 2011.

"Shapefiles of Mexico"

  • A blog handled by Diego Valle-Jones providing data and metadata (in Spanish) about Mexico. Datasets include Administrative boundaries, Places, Transportation etc.

 Stanford Geospatial Center

  • Various GIS Datasets for Mexico and Central America such as Climate, Conservation, Bathymetry, and elevation. 

University of Arizona - Mexico GIS Data

  • Provides access to geospatial data for Mexico such as Administrative boundaries, census, rivers, archaeological sites etc.


  • For Administration area, Inland water, roads, railroads, elevation, land cover, population, climate, gazetteer datasets.


  • A site dedicated to providing information about geospatial data for Latin America, as well links to census data for most countries in Latin America.

A to Z Maps Online

  • For downloadable political, physical, population, climate, historical etc. maps for different parts of the world. Maps come in different formats and are solely for educational purposes.

ArcGIS Online Services

  • A great resource to access free GIS data like global imagery or other global data. The imagery though have a course resolution i.e. less detailed and cannot be downloaded.

ASTER Global DEM  

  • Free 30m DEMs for the World. Requires user registration.

Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA)  

  • Provides free, high quality geospatial data produced through coastal environmental monitoring and research studies. Other data available include satellite/aerial imagery, digital maps, and habitat data.

CGIAR-CSI SRTM 90m DEM Digital Elevation Database

  • A geoportal that provides SRTM 90m Digital Elevation Data for the entire world.

CIESIN &SEDAC & WDC - Columbia University

  • A web resource hosted by Columbia University which provides GIS data focused on human interactions in the environment. The data are supplied from these portals: Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), and the World Data Center for Human Interactions.


  • GIS data covering different topics like administrative boundaries, water, roads, landcover, population, and climate for almost all countries in the world.

EDEN Data Archive

  • Provides links to other global GIS data links.

GeoNetwork - Digital Soil Map of the World

  • Provides Soil Maps of the World for download in various formats. The original data comes from UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

GIS Data Depot

  • A GIS data repository for both the US and other countries with several data free for download.

NASA Topographical Data

  • Provides links to NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data and other global elevation data at up to 30m resolution.

The Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS)

  • A voluntary partnership of governments and international organizations that aims at creating a unified body that will link Earth observation resources worldwide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas - agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water, and weather.

Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research

  • A Database for Climate Change research.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) - Glovis                               

  • Satellite imagery, multiple landsat scenes covering almost all parts of the world.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • “The authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other integrated environment assessments. It holds more than 500 different variables, as national, subregional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health, and GDP”.