Featured: LandScan Global Population Database (Request via the GIS Data Request Form) Complete historic archive available! 2000-2011, as well as 2012
Using an innovative approach with Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing, ORNL’s LandScan™ is the community standard for global population distribution. At approximately 1 km resolution (30″ X 30″), LandScan is the finest resolution global population distribution data available and represents an ambient population (average over 24 hours). The LandScan algorithm, an R&D 100 Award Winner, uses spatial data and imagery analysis technologies and a multi-variable dasymetric modeling approach to disaggregate census counts within an administrative boundary. Since no single population distribution model can account for the differences in spatial data availability, quality, scale, and accuracy as well as the differences in cultural settlement practices, LandScan population distribution models are tailored to match the data conditions and geographical nature of each individual country and region.
GIS data by country
A comprehensive list of online international data sources from Stanford University.
Alphabetical Listing of Resources:
Antarctic Digital Database
The SCAR Antarctic Digital Database (ADD) is a seamless compilation of topographic data for the continent of Antarctica to 60°S. The SCAR ADD consists of geographic information layers including coastline, ice-shelf grounding line, rock outcrop, elevation data and human-presence features such as Research Station locations. It is derived from a wide variety of sources and aims to provide the best currently available data in Antarctica. All data are provided at the original scale of the source data and as generalised data suitable for smaller map scales of 1:1 million and 1:10 million. Users should note that the resolution of the original data varies widely, with source data ranging from 1:10,000 scale maps to much coarser sources.
CARPE – Central African Regional Program for the Environment
An interactive web GIS for the Congo Basin and the CARPE Data Explorer lets you search and browse CARPE-related data and metadata. You can search by defining an area of interest, or by specifying a content type and an optional keyword. Alternatively, you can browse through data organized in various categories such a CBFP landscapes, countries, etc.
China Historical GIS – China Historical Geographic Information System
The China Historical Geographic Information System, CHGIS, project was launched in January 2001 to establish a database of populated places and historical administrative units for the period of Chinese history between 222 BCE and 1911 CE. CHGIS provides a base GIS platform for researchers to use in spatial analysis, temporal statistical modeling, and representation of selected historical units as digital maps.
CIESIN – Center for International Earth Science Information Network
CIESIN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences, and specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment.
Famine Early Warning Systems Network
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an information system designed to identify problems in the food supply system that potentially lead to famine or other food-insecure conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Central America, and Haiti.
France: Open Access to French Government Data
Beta version as of December 2011. Open Access Portal to French Government information.
GeoCommons: Open Analysis, Data, and Maps.
GeoCommons is the public community of GeoIQ users who are building an open repository of data and maps for the world. The GeoIQ platform includes a large number of features that empower you to easily access, visualize and analyze your data.
GeoGratis – GIS data for Canada
GeoGratis is a portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data at no cost via your Web browser.
Free GIS data downloads from the Australian government.
Global Land Cover Facility
The GLCF is a center for land cover science with a focus on research using remotely sensed satellite data and products to assess land cover change for local to global systems. Direct download global land cover data for use in a GIS.
Go-Geo! – GIS Database for the United Kingdom
Go-Geo! is a tool designed to help you find details about geospatial datasets and resources within Great Britain.
Map Library.org – Detailed World Administrative Boundaries – From the Mapmaker Trust, Scotland. Detailed second-level administrative boundary data for countries of the world. Check data sources for authenticity.
Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software.
Oak Ridge National Labs Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC)
(Biogeochemical and ecological data useful for studying environmental processes. These data have been collected on the ground, from aircraft, or by satellite or have been generated by computer models. The extent of data ranges from site-specific to global, and durations range from days to years.)
Comprehensive collections of international GIS data acquired by Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Berkely, Columbia, and other universities. Some data is restricted to just those campuses, but much of it is available for download.
OpenStreetMap Data – Geofabrik shapefiles
OpenStreetMap is a map of the world, created by people like you and free to use under an open license.
SAFARI – Southern Africa Regional Science Initiative
Visit the FTP download site for direct access to soils, hydrology, climate, satellite imagery,vegetation and wetlands data for the southern Africa region.
SAGE – UW-Madison Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment
From the SAGE website: “SAGE aims to improve our understanding of the global environment, and how it is being affected by human activities. To achieve this goal, we have been developing maps, computer models and datasets to describe the behavior of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems, hydrological systems, and climate. We have developed a new generation of global ecosystem (IBIS) and terrestrial hydrology (THMB) models, as well as fully coupled climate-vegetation models (GENESIS-IBIS and CCM3-IBIS). In addition, we have created new datasets of global ecosystems, historical land use, and land cover change, datasets specific to the Amazon Basin.”
SALB – Second Administrative Level Boundaries
The Second Administrative Level Boundaries (SALB) dataset is a dataset aiming at improving the availability of information about administrative boundaries down to the second subnational level. The SALB dataset forms part of the UN geographic database and was developed in the context of the United Nations Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG).
SEDAC – Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center
From CIESIN (Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University, NY).
SEDAC, the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, is one of the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) in the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SEDAC focuses on human interactions in the environment.
WorldClim – Global Climate Data
WorldClim is a set of global climate layers (climate grids) with a spatial resolution of about 1 square kilometer. The data can be used for mapping and spatial modeling in a GIS or with other computer programs.