Skip to main content
| University Libraries

Geospatial Data & GIS

A guide to help you discover geospatial data and GIS resources and services availalbe for your research

GIS Data Collection at Mason

Geospatial data is usually information identifying an object on the earth that can be represented in a form of geographic coordinates. The data is often included as an attribute data (as locational information) found in a dataset so that the data can be imported or used in GIS tools. 

Use the following steps to find geospatial data for the Libraries' collection: 

GIS Data on the Web

United States:

  • stop catalog to discover GIS data (including statistical data) published by US federal and state agencies (see geospatial data catalog of from FGDC).
  • ArcGIS Open Data: check free GIS data published by federal, state, local, and other organizations.
  • OpenGeoportal: check data available from a collaborative universities and other repositories.
  • Big Ten Academic Geoportal: check data available from big ten universities' GIS collection
  • National Atlas (National Map): covers basic national infrastructure layers-agricultural, biology, climate, water, transportation
  • OpenStreetMap: download up to date street layers
  • GIS Data by US Regions:  official geoportal sites by US States (via ALA-MAGIRT)


  • Natural Earth:  Free Vector and Raster Data for the World at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110m scales
  • Diva-GIS; Administrative and other infrastructure boundaries such as transportation for countries in the World
  • Geoportal Sites around the World: A list of Major Geoportal sites around the world.
  • Geolode: A catalog for open source geodata websites around the world. 


More GIS Data on the Web