Political science, governance, and international affairs: US national geospatial resources

Data Portals

  • Census Geography
    Find geographic data and products such as the TIGER/Line Shapefiles, KMLs, TIGERweb, cartographic boundary files, geographic relationship files, and reference and thematic maps.

  • Geoplatform
    The GeoPlatform provides shared and trusted geospatial data, services, and applications for use by the public and by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs. 

  • Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG)
    Is the One Stop Source for environmental and natural resources data, at anytime, from anywhere, to anyone. The Gateway allows you to choose your area of interest, browse and select data from our catalog, customize the format, and have it downloaded or shipped on CD or DVD. 

  • Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DACC)
    The LP DAAC provides land data products that are vital contributors to the inter-disciplinary study of the integrated Earth system to the public remote sensing community.

  • NASA Earth Observations (NEO)

    Here you can browse and download imagery of satellite data from NASA's constellation of Earth Observing System satellites. Over 50 different global datasets are represented with daily, weekly, and monthly snapshots, and images are available in a variety of formats including JPEG, PNG, Google Earth, and GeoTIFF.
  • National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB)

    Is a Congressionally mandated national archive of geoscience maps, reports, and stratigraphic information. The NGMDB contains information on more than 90,000 maps and related geoscience reports published from the early 1800s to the present day, by more than 630 agencies, universities, associations, and private companies.

  • Natural Earth
    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.

  • NOAA DigitalCoast
    Directs NOAA to establish and implement the Digital Coast to: (1) collect data concerning coastal elevations, land use and cover, habitat and submerged aquatic vegetation, parcels, planimetrics, socioeconomics, and human use; and (2) integrate other data sources for the broadest measure of coastal resource management constituents and applications.

  • The National Map
    The geographic information available from The National Map includes orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures, and land cover.

  • TopoView -  United States Geological Survey (USGS)
    TopoView highlights one of the USGS's most important and useful products, the topographic map. Purpose is to provide a digital repository of USGS 1:250,000 scale and larger (more detailed) maps printed between 1884 (the inception of the topographic mapping program), and 2006. All of the topo maps can be downloaded in multiple formats, JPEG, Geo-PDF, Geo-TIFF, KMZ.

  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
    Presented here is a collection of geospatial data derivatives obtained from many sources including maps, aerial photographs, and remote sensors. Included is a list of public-domain software developed by USGS scientists and partners to support a wide variety of natural science research and mapping activities. Direct access is provided via browsable links through our FTP Server and Amazon's Cloud. Navigate to the appropriate theme folders to access staged products for download.

  • US Building Footprints
    The data on this page was originally made available by Microsoft and is licenced under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) which means that users are free to share, modify and use the data in a variety of ways, including commercial use. The file format is in GeoPackage with some additional fields for easier use.

  • USDA Datagateway
    The Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG) provides access to a map library of over 100 high resolution vector and raster layers in the Geospatial Data Warehouse. It is the One Stop Source for environmental and natural resources data.

  • USDA NRCS Soil Survey
    Official USDA soil information as viewable maps and tables for more than 3200 soil surveys. Listing of Soil Surveys by State – current and out-of-print soil surveys and contact information for requesting a paper or CD copy.

  • USGS EarthExplorer
    The USGS EarthExplorer (EE) tool provides users the ability to query, search, and order satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products from several sources. In addition to data from the Landsat missions and a variety of other data providers, EE now provides access to MODIS land data products from the NASA Terra and Aqua missions, and ASTER level-1B data products over the U.S. and Territories from the NASA ASTER mission.

  • USGS Topographical Maps Archive
    In 2009, USGS began the release of a new generation of topographic maps (US Topo) in electronic form, and in 2011, complemented them with the release of high-resolution scans of more than 178,000 historical topographic maps of the United States.

Data Request

Geospatial Data Consultant

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Ed Brooks
Room 3020 Newman Library

Virginia Tech
560 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, Va. 24061
(540) 231-9225

Geospatial Data Curator

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Imma Mwanja
Newman Library Room 3010
560 Drillfield Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061