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Image at top shows a map of demographic data for Philadelphia

Mapping & GIS: GIS Data

This is the LibGuide which contains tutorials on Mapping and Geographic Information Systems, as well as annotated links to useful sources for research and learning in GIS. Many of the tutorials are from past workshops. Please feel free to contact our mapp

GIS Data Overview

Spatial information is collected in many format for a range of purposes. Collecting data is the first step to creating a map. Below is a set of annotated links, which will direct you to websites where you can find some of this information. If you are seeking spatial information that is not listed, please contact us at

Examples include anything that takes place in physical and cyberspace, such as:

  • Recorded boundaries of a district (political maps)
  • Transportation and social mobility (network analysis)
  • Satellite images of the Earth (remote sensing, agriculture, environmental science)
  • Locations of utilities such as electricity and sewers (civil and city planning)
  • Locations of historical events and artifacts (archeology, history)
  • Sociological and demographic data, such as census and crime data (economics, criminology, finance)
  • Zoning and land use maps (civil engineering, environmental science)
  • 3D renderings of land topography and buildings (urban studies, hydrology, geology)
  • Disease transmission risks (epidemiology, public health)

Related Guides

GIS data terms

Major Sources for GIS Data

U.S. Census Bureau census data

U.S. Census Bureau TIGER Lines Shapefiles

U.S. Street Network Shapefiles, Node/Edge Lists, and GraphML Files

Microsoft's AI generated building footprints for North America

Google's Open Buildings, AI generated building footprints for Africa

National Renewable Energy Laboratory geospatial data and tools

Creating Geographic Estimates with the IPUMS CPS Online Data Analysis System

Social, Political, and Economic spatial information

Historical Geospatial Data

Environment & Climate

Imagery & Elevation

Mapping & GIS Specialist

Geospatial and Mapping Fellow


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