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Find geographic and spatial information for your project

Many websites offer worldwide geographic data for free or for a small fee. Much of the data can be downloaded, mapped and viewed in your browser. The data comes from commercial, nonprofit, educational, and government sources. For information on how to select the right data for your project, see Selecting the Right Data on GIS.com.

Census Watch
Several U.S. data sets are available including Census 2000 data.

CIESIN
The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) offers data, data applications, and online tools and information products.

Famine Early Warning System Project
Focused on Africa, the site attempts to provide information to decision makers to head off potential famines. Maps and data are provided in the Resources and Toolkit section.

GeoCommunity Data Depot
This site offers free data from all over the world, or you can pay a fee for a custom CD.

Geography Network
Map and download data from providers all over the world.

Geospatial Data Clearinghouse
Search more than 100 spatial data servers from different organizations through a single interface created by the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee.

Global Elevation Data
The GTOPO30 data set is a global digital elevation model (DEM) with a horizontal grid spacing of 30 arc seconds (approximately 1 kilometer).

Global GIS
The United States Geological Survey is developing a GIS of the world at a nominal scale of 1:1 million. Data is available on CD–ROM for $32 (U.S.).

Global Land Cover
Land cover data for the entire globe as well as various regions is available from the USGS EROS Data Center.

National Geographic's MapMachine
Find worldwide data as well as maps that can be printed.

Nationmaster
Nationmast is a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations with maps, graphs, and statistics.

ReliefWeb MapCentre
Find and download various maps for any country. ReliefWeb is a project of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

U.N. Environmental Programme
Enter "data" into the keyword search to pull up data mapping tools as well as links to different data sources.