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Geospatial Data


This guide will help you discover and access geospatial data for use in research and course projects. It is meant to help you get started and features information about common public and licensed sources of geospatial data rather than being an exhaustive list of resources.


For more advanced help finding geospatial data resources, please contact Josh Sadvari (Geospatial Information Librarian) at


If you are looking for more information about physical and digital map collections at University Libraries and beyond, please visit the Maps Subject Guide.

Tips for Finding Geospatial Data

The following resources offer some general tips and can serve as a starting point for finding geospatial data to use in academic research or coursework.


  • Tutorial: Finding Geospatial Data
    • This tutorial covers a method for helping students to frame a search strategy for geospatial data based on their research questions and anticipated data needs, with a specific example for searching the BTAA Geoportal. This tutorial may be especially useful for students when brainstorming potential data sources for course projects.
  • Blog post: Modern Strategies for Finding Geospatial Data
    • This blog post from geographer Joseph Kerski covers some basic strategies for identifying and exploring common types of geospatial data sources, such as open data portals from specific organizations, and those organized by location or theme.
  • Tutorial: Get Started with ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World
    • This tutorial from Esri's Learn Team provides an introduction to the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, an expanding collection of GIS-ready datasets created by a variety of organizations. This tutorial may be especially useful for students who will be integrating Living Atlas datasets into ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Pro for course projects.

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