Maps & Cartography: Geographic Information Systems
Geographic Information Systems
Start with the UB Libraries guide ESRI Virtual Campus Courses to begin using ArcView and related products. Online tutorials are offered along with links to helpful resources.
Go to GIS Data Resources for a selected listing of resources available in the Arts & Sciences Libraries and on the Internet.
UB Geography faculty and students, go to: Geographic Information and Analysis Laboratory (GIAL).
Many GIS products and data sets are also available from US, state, and foreign government websites (see Maps: Government Resources). For topographic and satellite maps see Map & Satellite Image Database. For GIS of WNY region, see Erie and Niagara County GIS.
What is GIS? (USGS). Good introduction to GIS, including: data input and how data layers are shown. This is a good page to show someone who wants to understand GIS. Also see: GIS Glossaries for a selection of glossaries/dictionaries of GIS and Cartographic terms. ESRI also has a What is GIS? page.
GIS Sites and Resources
- Geographical Information Systems Basics (USGS). Good introduction to GIS, including: data input and how data layers are shown. This is a good page to show someone who does not understand GIS.
- ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.). The leading GIS company. Several useful ESRI links:
- GIS Glossaries. Selection of glossaries/dictionaries of GIS and Cartographic terms.
- Bird's Eye View GIS. GIS technology service with emphasis on "solving the world's mounting ecological, economic and social problems." Company's focus is on environment, nature, and human ecology.
- Boston Atlas. (Boston Redevelopment Authority ). Excellent example of GIS. Boston maps and satellite imagery with layers for dates from early Boston to the present.
- County GIS Sites for New York State. County official GIS; added as they go online.
- Historical County Boundaries of United States. Includes GIS data files.
- Dictionary Of Abbreviations And Acronyms In Geographic Information Systems (UC Berkeley).
- Digital Map of the World (MapInfo format). Vector map of the world, in MapInfo TAB format based upon the 1:1,000,000 Operational Navigation Charts & DCW from the U.S. Department of Defense. DMW is the most detailed 1:1,000,000 world map in MapInfo format.
- Erie County GIS. Collection of GIS sites for Erie County, NY. Niagara County, NY is also available.
- Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI). This site features cartographic tools for "visualizing and analyzing historical and cultural phenomena." Users may create "maps based on a theme, era and region." The "Projects" section provides examples, and the "Participating" section provides instructions. Also includes information about the underlying technology. Note: Access to some datasets requires a password. Sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley.
- Geo Directory of Products and Services (GeoPlace). Directory of organizations, agencies, commercial companies, GIS, mapping, and other products and services.
- Geologic map databases for the United States: Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (Open-File Report (2005-1325)). Geological maps, data, and metadata for 5 states. Useful for GIS applications with Arc Export, ArcView shapefiles, and Attribute Tables.
- Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS). Free Geographic Information System (GIS) software used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization. GRASS GIS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. GRASS GIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).
- GIS Gateway (U.S. Bureau of the Census). Offers connections to many Geographic Information Systems (GIS) resources available on the Internet.
- GIS MGRS Grid Data layers and UTM zones in GIS Format (US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)). UTM, MGRS Shape files for World and specific regions.
- Graphical Locater. Primarily for data on hydrologic regions (HUC), but also has data for most features. Using a map, locate geographical features and find coordinates, hydrologic data on the feature (and USGS topo map info).
- Great Lakes Information Network Maps and GIS page.
- Great Lakes Bathymetry (NOAA/NGDC). Data sets, shape files for each lake, plus other data.
- Mapping Information Platform. (FEMA) GIS atlas of hazards and potential disasters in the U.S. Data sets and maps available for download.
- India Census GIS Data.
- National Gap Analysis Program (GAP). A Geographic Approach to Planning for Biological Diversity (USGS program). GIS system providing regional assessments of the conservation status of native vertebrate species and natural land cover types and to facilitate the application of this information to land management activities.
- National Land Cover Database (Multi-Resolution Land Characterization Consortium (MRLC)). U.S. Land cover GIS data and maps. Provides the Nation "with nationally complete, current, consistent, and public domain information on the Nation's land cover."
- New York GAP Analysis - Part of the GAP program. Involves mapping the distribution of animals and plants on land and in aquatic ecosystems.
- National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (University of California at Santa Barbara, University at Buffalo Department of Geology, and University of Maine).
- New York State Gazetteer & GeoData Collection. This UB Libraries page provides a gazetteer, along with the digital collection of downloadable USGS topographic maps, such as georeferenced Digital Raster Graphics (DRG's). These maps are suitable for both general use and GIS applications.
- New York State GIS Clearinghouse. The place to go for NYS data and related resources.
- New York State County GIS sites. County official GIS; added as they go online.
- Niagara County GIS. Niagara County site.
- Ontario Basic Mapping. View/create maps showing a variety of layers.
- Spatial Data Sources. Links to a wide range of GIS resources.
- SpatialNews. Commercial site, but has the latest news and developments in GIS.
- Tiger Database. U.S. Census. Offers GIS and various data sets on the Census reports.
Looking for ToxMap? This resource was retired by the United States government in December 2019.