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Geography is a multi-disciplinary field. This guide introduces students to a variety of resources for the study of human and physical geography.

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In this Guide:

Prime resource for accessing the latest research in sociology and related disciplines in the social, behavioral, and cultural studies. The database draws information from an international selection of over 2,600 journals and other serials publications, plus conference papers, books, and dissertations. Records added after 1974 contain in-depth and nonevaluative abstracts of journal articles.

Coverage: 1963-present
Tags: Sociology

Provides citations and abstracts to the international agricultural literature, including veterinary medicine, human and animal nutrition, forestry, rural development, as well as other related topics such as tourism and human ecology. Covers over 11,000 journals & conference proceedings and selected books in agriculture. Produced by CAB (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux) International (CABI) with more than 10 million records.

HISTORICAL SCOPE: Archive abstracts added in August 2005 go back to 1910 with 1,860,000 additional records. CAB DATABASE PDFs: As of January 2009, hard-to-find literature may be available as CAB Database PDFs (so noted *below* the UC-eLinks button).  These CABI Full Text items give users automatic access to over 350,000 journal articles, conference papers and reports – 80% of which are not available electronically anywhere else. NOTE: the default UCD Search Type is set to Advanced Ovid Search.

Coverage: 1910-present
Tags: Agriculture, Animals, Ecology, Plants, Science
Related links: Database Guide[OvidSP]

Bibliographic database containing citations to articles on American and Canadian history, including ethnic history and relations, from prehistory to the present. Covers more than 2000 journals published worldwide.

Coverage: 1964-present
Tags: Canada, History, United States Of America

Covers worldwide technical literature on geology, paleontology, and geophysics. Covers the geology of North America from 1785 to present and geology outside of North America from 1933 to present. Also includes GeoRef In Process database and Earth Sciences Deep Indexing.

Coverage: 1785-present
Tags: Forensics, Geology, Geophysics, Paleontology, Science

This a print-only periodical abstract/index for finding articles on human and cultural geography. Part of Geo Abstracts series, this tool was formed by the union of: Geographical abstracts. C, Economic geography (1986); and: Geographical abstracts. D, Social and historical geography; and: Geographical abstracts. F, Regional and community planning.

Tags: Geography

This database covers over 600 journals, as well as books & conference proceedings, on meteorology, climatology, air pollution, astrophysics, atmospheric chemistry & physics, physical oceanography, hydrology, glaciology, and weather forecasting, from 1950s to present.

This government site provides free downloads for frequently used datasets of California, including basemaps, elevation, transportation, political boundaries, scanned USGS topographic maps and 2005 and 2009 aerial photography.

Coverage: California
Tags: Geographic Information Systems (Gis), Geography

The State of California’s portal for geospatial data resources.

The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base stores names records for populated places and physical features across Canada. Of the entries, nearly 350 000 names are recognized by the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) for official Canadian use.

Coverage: Canada; Current
Tags: Geography


China Data Online is the primary data source for China studies. It includes (1) China Statistical Databases; and (2) China Census Databases; It provides easy access to the various statistical yearbooks published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, comprehensive statistics, and Census data of economy and population at national, provincial, city, county, and even township levels.

The GIS DataDepot is a commercial data site that has numerous data holdings available for free download. Additional data may be downloaded via a “Premium” option or written to CD-ROM for a fee. No-fee registration is required to download even the free data. Coverage is worldwide but generally not very detailed (VMAP0). US coverage includes TIGER/Line files; soils data (STATSGO and SSURGO); DEMs; and transportation, utilities, hypsography,and vegetation data at 1M.

Coverage: worldwide
Tags: Geographic Information Systems (Gis), Geography

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)is the official repository of the United States of America’s domestic geographic names data. The GNIS contains information about physical and cultural geographic features of all types in the United States, associated areas, and Antarctica, current and historical, but not including roads and highways. The database holds the Federally recognized name of each feature and defines the feature location by state, county, USGS topographic map, and geographic coordinates. Other attributes include names or spellings other than the official name, feature designations, feature classification, historical and descriptive information, and for some categories the geometric boundaries.

Coverage: United States; current
Tags: Geography

This site provides population statistics of regions, countries, provinces and cities. It also provides data on land area, natural resources, energy and economy.

Search for GIS Data or create a map using the online viewer. is part of the Geospatial One-Stop E-Gov initiative providing access to geospatial data and information.

Geographic database of over 165,000 entries including place-names, physical characteristics and attributes, political properties, economic parameters, and natural and agricultural resources. Global in scope, updated monthly.

Tags: Geography

Includes links to numeric and geographic data covering a variety of topics including demography, health statistics, state contracts, traffic records. Statistics and data sets are available from state agencies and links are provided to other data sources – local, federal and other sources.

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.

The Geo Data Portalis ponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme and is an authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP. The online database holds more than 450 different variables covering themes like freshwater, population, forests, emissions, climate, disasters, health, and GDP. They can be displayed as maps, graphs or data tables.

The Geographic Names Server is the official repository of standard spellings of all foreign place names, sanctioned by the United States Board on Geographic Names. The database also contains variant spellings which are useful for finding purposes. It also contains native script spellings for some of the names. All the geographic features in the database contain information about location, administrative division, and quality. The GEOnet Names Server (GNS) does not contain any data for the United States of America or its Dependent areas. To obtain U.S. data, use the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database of names.

Coverage: World-wide except for USA and territories; current
Tags: Geography

The Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG) is the One Stop Source for environmental and natural resources data. 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. Data sets include: Common Land Units, Transportation, Government Units, Census, Landmarks, Digital Raster Graphics (DRG), Elevation, Ortho Imagery, Landuse/Landcover, Geology, Soils, Precipitation, Temperature

Coverage: United States; Current
Tags: Geography

The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. A generalized map of the country/entity is also provided. The World Factbook also includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.

Coverage: World; Current
Tags: Economics, Geography, Government

American Factfinder is the Census Bureau’s data access point. It provides tools to look up, view and deliver data, reports, tables, maps and fact sheets on United States population, economy and industry statistics. Large and small scale geographies, eg., states, counties, places, census tracts and blocks can be searched. Data sets are from the Decennial Census, American Community Survey, Annual Population Estimates, Economic Census, and annual economic surveys. All data sets and statistics may be freely downloaded or viewed online.

Coverage: Data sets are current and include 2000 Census and some 1990 Census data and American Community Survey data.
Tags: Census, Economics, Social Science, United States Of America
Related links: American FactFinder: How do I find all the Census Tracts in a Place?