The Data Management Program staff can offer assistance in visualizing data and creating maps as figures for inclusion in journal articles and books.  Contact us for help with:

  • Understanding publisher figure specifications
  • Sourcing background data or base layers with re-use licensing
  • Map clean-up for publication
  • Working with restricted color schemes (often black & white or gray scale)
  • Map production from start to finish

Drop-In Hours

The UC Davis Library’s Data Management Program provides Drop-In Hours with the GIS Data Curator on Wednesdays from 2:00-4:00 in the Map Room on the lower level of Shields Library. This time is set aside for any and all questions about spatial data, from simple to complex. Library patrons are always welcome to make an appointment for another time with the GIS Data Curator, Michele Tobias, to discuss spatial data.

Email Lists

UC Davis affiliates can sign up for email lists through the UC Davis Information & Educational Technology’s Sympa list serve manager.  The “Geospatial” email list is a widely-used list for UC Davis faculty, students, and staff who work with any type of geospatial data.  The list can be used for announcements or questions.

Geospatial Software

The geospatial industry has a number of established, well-respected, and long running free and open source projects that may suit the needs of researchers and students.  The Open Source Geospatial Foundation oversees many of these projects, including QGIS (which runs on Mac, Linux, and Windows).

Software for purchase, including ESRI’s ArcMap suite of software, is available through the UC Davis Information & Educational Technology’s Software page.

GIS Workstation

The lower level of Shields Library has one GIS workstation that UC Davis students, faculty, researchers, and other staff may to use for a maximum of two hours per day. The workstation room is located near, but outside the Map Room and is open the same hours as the Library. The workstation has the full suite of ArcGIS 10 software.

An 11″ x 17″ color scanner is available for maps and aerial photography.

Workstation use must comply with UC Davis Computer Use Policies and the Library Computer Use Policy as well as the following guidelines:

  • GIS software and data licensed by the library may not be used for commercial purposes.
  • Software and spatial data may be licensed and subject to restrictions on who can use it and how it can be used. We provide GIS users with public domain data and any other data and software that we can under the terms of the licenses.
  • It is advisable to save your data and project files to portable media.

The USGS Earth Explorer is USGS tool for querying and ordering raster geospatial data including satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products. Log in as a guest or as a registered user. Registered users have access to more features than guests do. If you plan on using Earth Explorer frequently, you may wish to register.

Tags: Geography

The USGS National Map Viewer allows users to explore and download vector geospatial data, mainly for the United States.

Tags: 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

Library of Congress’ search tool for digital online maps.

Tags: Geography

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

Data.gov provides public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Data.gov has descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of Data.gov.

Tags: Government

 Local & Regional

Association of Bay Area Governments (Boundaries, Conservation, Planning, San Francisco Bay Area) Includes housing, planning, conservation & hazard geospatial data.

California Coastal Records Project (Aerial Imagery, Coastal, California Coast) Oblique (and some nadir) images of nearshore and terrestrial coastal areas of California. 1970-2015.

Central Coast Joint Data Committee (Aerial Imagery, Boundaries, Coast, Conservation, Population, California’s Central Coast) Encompasses the central coast of California

City of Davis — Mapping & Geographic Information Systems (Boundaries, Infrastructure, Planning) Maps and data for the City of Davis

San Diego Geographic Information Source (SanGIS) (Clearinghouse, San Diego Area) Geographic data warehouse that includes a map gallery, an interactive mapper and downloadable geospatial data for the City and County of San Diego.

San Francisco Bay Area Regional Database (BARD) (Historic, Elevation, Aerial Imagery, Maps, San Francisco Bay Area) Includes the Bay Area Digital Map Library from U.S. Geological Survey Western Geographic Science Center.

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Maps and GIS (Clearinghouse, San Diego Area) Includes several interactive mappers and downloadable geospatial data.

Southern California Association of Governments Data Center (Deomogrpahics, Economics, Southern California) Search metadata information and download data.

State

California Energy Commission’s Cal-Adapt (Climate, Energy) Includes GIS data sets that identify potential climate change risks in specific geographic areas throughout California.

California Geoportal (Boundaries, Aerial Imagery, Clearinghouse, Elevation) Datasets related to projects produced by Agencies within the State of California.

California GIS Map and Information Sites (Link Collection, California Counties) Directory of California county GIS sites, from Coordinated Legal Technologies.

Calisphere (Aerial Imagery, Map Collection) Includes over 2500 maps that reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. To search for images of maps, type “maps” in the search box; “aerial” for aerial surveys or air photos.

Caltrans GIS Data Library (Intrastructure, Transportation) California Department of Transportation Office of GIS’ public datasets including highways, aviation, and rail datasets.

CDFW GIS Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse, Environment, Water, California) Wildlife data related to California Department of Fish and Game projects.

Digital Sanborn maps [via ProQuest] (Map Collection, Infrastructure, Historical, California, Nevada) Sanborn fire insurance maps, created to assist fire insurance companies assess risk, are large-scale community plans drawn at a scale of 50 feet to one inch. The maps give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, and house and block numbers. Sanborn maps also contain data about construction details, building use and the utilities and transportation infrastructure that supported the community overall. Several editions of maps exist for some cities. NOTE: UC Davis Libraries subscribe ONLY to the California and Nevada Digital Sanborn MapsCoverage: 1867-1970

National States Geographic Information Council GIS Inventory (Clearinghouse) Gateway to state, county and city data. Similar to the CalAtlas site of the early 2000s, but for all states.

Planet’s Open California Datset (Aerial Imagery, California) Planet’s free aerial imagery for California. Imagery for other areas are available globally for purchase.

School District Demographics System – Data Viewer (Demographics, Population, Census, US) Map or download demographic data about school districts and other geographies.

Social Explorer

(Census, Demogrpahics, Population, US) The Social Explorer allows UC Davis users to interactively explore U.S. Census demographic data maps between 1790 and 2010 and U.S. religion maps for 1980, 1990, and 2000. Other users have restricted access to these materials.

University of Arkansas Geographic Information Systems & Maps (Link Collection) Links to data by topic or State.

University of Oregon Libraries’ Maps and GIS Resources: United States, by State (Link List, Multiple States) Lists major data servers for each state

US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Geospatial Data (Conservation, Fire, Environment, Planning, California) Includes geospatial data for national forests in California, along with regionwide, provincewide, and statewide datasets. Includes existing vegetation on national forests and other lands in California through a cooperative mapping program with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

National

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Project (Boundaries, Historic, US) The Atlas presents in maps and text complete data about the creation and all subsequent changes (dated to the day) in the size, shape, and location of every county in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia.

Atlas of Historical Geography of the United States (1932) (Atals, Historic, Map Collection, US) Weather, travel, population, gold reserves, oil fields, vegetation types and georeferenced maps from the 1932 atlas.

Bureau of Land Management Navigator (Clearinghouse, Landuse, US) Searching, accessing and dynamic mapping of data for federal land stewardship, land and mineral use records from BLM’s LR2000, and land survey information.

California Geographical Survey (Map Collection, US) Includes DEM data for California. From California State University, Northridge.

census.ire.org (Census, Population, US) Dowload site providing 2010 Census data in a format easily used by journalists.

CropScape – NASS CDL Program (Agriculture, Land Use, US) The Cropland Data Layer (CDL) is hosted on CropScape.

Data.gov (Clearinghouse, US) Datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government.

GEOPLATFORM.GOV (Clearinghouse, US) The Geospatial Platform is an Internet-based capability providing shared and trusted geospatial data, services, and applications for use by the public and by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs.

National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) (Housing, Agriculture, Economic, Census, US) The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2000. Census Tract Shapefiles are available for select areas for the 1940 – 2010 census. Free access, but requires you to register and login to use. Date: 1790 – 2011

NOAA’s Historical Map and Chart Project

(Coastal, Marine, Historic) An extensive collection of historical maps and nautical and aeronautical charts.

University of Arkansas Libraries’ International Geospatial and Attribute Links (Link List) Lists resources by country or region.

US Census Bureau’s Cartographic Boundary Files (Boundary, Census, Demographics, US) Download boundary files that are selected generalized extracts from the Census Bureau’s TIGER geographic database and are designed for use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) or similar mapping system.

US2010 Census Data (Census, Demographics, Population, US) US2010 presents here a Longitudinal Tract Data Base (LTDB), which provides public-use tools to create estimates within 2010 tract boundaries for any tract-level data (from the census or other sources) that are available for prior years as early as 1970.

USDA Geospatial Gateway (Clearinghouse, US) The Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG) from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service 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.Date: Current

USGS Publications Warehouse (Clearinghouse) Full text and maps for over 40,000 USGS publications, citations for over 70,000 USGS publications, and USGS numbered series from as early as 1880. Biological series released by the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Biological Survey prior to creation of the Biological Resources Division in USGS are included in this database. Non-USGS series publications authored by USGS employees are currently NOT included.Coverage: 1880 – present

US Geological Survey EarthExplorer (Clearinghouse, Aerial Imagery, Elevation, US) Geospatial products available from the US Geological Survey including aerial photography, satellite imagery, digital orthophoto quads, digital line graphs, digital elevation models, digital raster graphics, and other map products.

USGS/EROS Find Data (Clearinghouse, Aerial Imagery) Portal including aerial photos, satellite imagery, land cover and elevation data, and digitized maps.

US Natural Resources Conservation Service Geospatial Data Gateway

(Clearinghouse, US) Includes data sets available from the USDA agencies, USGS and other sources.

Global & International

Center for International Earth Science Information Network – CIESIN (Boundaries, Climate, Health, Population) Specializes in data and applications related to human interactions with the environment. From Columbia University.

Data Basin (Clearinghouse, Environmental Stewardship, Scales Vary By Dataset) Environmental stewardship focused data repository and analysis platform from Conservation Biology Institute.

Database of the Geologic Map of North America–Adapted from the Map by J.C. Reed, Jr. and others (2005) (Geology, North America) Data based on The Geological Society of America’s (GSA) Geologic Map of North America (Reed and others, 2005; 1:5,000,000) shows the geology of a significantly large area of the Earth, centered on North and Central America and including the submarine geology of parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.</p)

David Rumsey Map Collection (Map Collection, Historic) The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North and South America maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia and Africa are also represented. Collection categories include antique atlas, globe, school geography, maritime chart, state, county, city, pocket, wall, childrens and manuscript maps.

FAO GeoNetwork (Clearinghouse, Boundaries, Agriculture, Population, Environment, Climate, Water, Fisheries, Human Health, Land Use, Topography) Includes interactive maps, GIS datasets, satellite imagery and related applications. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Free GIS Datasets (Link List) Extensive list of links categorized by physical geography, human geography and by individual country/area.

LandScan (Population, Demogrpahics) LandScan provides ambient population (24-hour average) data by country, administrative unit (state/province), pixel (sq km), and custom area. Data is broken down by gender ratio and age group. Access is provided by East View Geospatial through the East View LandScan Global Web Applications. Coverage is from 2000-2014. Off-campus access is available through campus client VPN.Data can be downloaded from the Web App for use in GIS software. GIS users can also access the data directly through their GIS software using the Web Map Service (WMS) or Web Coverage Service (WCS), though this access has been spotty, especially off-campus.

Library of Congress Digital Map Collections (Map Collection, Historic) Online images of maps in the Library of Congress’s collection. 1100 – present.

Natural Earth (Boundaries, Cartographic) Public domain vector and raster datasets at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales, for Cultural, Physical, and Raster themes. Unlike other datasets intended for scientific analysis or military mapping Natural Earth datasets are designed to meet the needs of production cartographers.

Old Maps Online (Map Collection, Historic) Historical maps in libraries around the world across numerous collections via a geographical search.

OpenGeoportal.org (Clearinghouse) Open source, federated web application to discover, preview, and retrieve data housed in geospatial respositories.

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection (Map Collection) Over 250,000 online map images from the University of Texas’s Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection. Many of the images are general country maps, but there are also many historical maps available with an emphasis on Texas.

Stanford Univeristy’s Branner Earth Sciences and Map Library Guide to Online Maps (Map Collection) Links to many more online map sites.

United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Data Explorer

(Clearinghouse, Water, Population, Environment, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health, Economy) Includes data sets used in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other environment assessments. The database holds more than 400 variables that are available as national, subregional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets (maps).