Access, use, and reproduction of the electronic resources made available through the Grinnell College Libraries are governed by license agreements with publishers which may impose greater restrictions on use than does copyright law. The user is responsible for observing these agreements as well as the copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), including the fair use guidelines that protect scholarship and research.
When accessing subscription databases from off-campus, you will be asked to sign in using your campus username and password. If you have any problems accessing library resources from off campus, please contact Rebecca Ciota or Sheryl Bissen.
Sanborn fire-insurance maps are large-scale plans used to estimate the potential risk for urban structures, and include information such as outlines of buildings; the size, shape, and construction materials used; and location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, property boundaries, house and block numbers, and various other data. They are useful for historians, architects, geographers, genealogists, environmentalists, and anyone who wants to learn about the history and development of Iowa municipalities.
Complete coverage of Iowa in aerial orthophotos, land use/land cover maps, DEMs, historical data.
High-quality, geospatial data from the USGS. Mostly US data, some international data. Transportation, boundary files, hydrography, orthoimagery, land cover, elevation. Interactive map server and downloadable data.
U.S. biology, geology, demography, environmental, water and much more. Interactive map server and downloadable data.
Searchable catalog of data, including shapefiles and other geographic data, available from the U.S. federal government.
The National Historical Geographic Information System. Provides "aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2000." Free registration required.
Statistics and aggregate data from the U.S. Decennial Census, American Community Survey, Puerto Rico Community Survey, Annual Population Estimates, Economic Census, and Annual Economic Surveys. Data for geographic areas, sometimes down to the block level, can be downloaded in CSV or XLS formats.
ESRI's data clearinghouse and map services; contains mostly base data; you can also link to this data directly through ArcCatalog.
Free, downloadable Canadian GIS data.
Spatial data in a variety of formats from OpenStreetMap.
Database of high-resolution historical maps, some of which are georeferenced.
Search and download satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and other products from the USGS. Primarily raster layers.
Download shapefiles for every country in the world. Available layers include administrative boundaries, inland water, roads, railroads, elevation, land cover, population, and climate. Georeferencing gazetteers are also available.
The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) maintains and provides access to the world's largest archive of raw data sets in the social sciences. Before downloading data, you will be prompted to create a MyData account. You must be on campus to create this account. As long as you log in to your MyData account from an on-campus computer at least every 6 months, you will also be able to download data while you are off campus.
Geographic information from the U.S. Census Bureau. Includes the TIGER files.
Maintained by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Much data is available at the state and county level. Data is in spreadsheets, not GIS layers.
Pre-processed, searchable, and mappable demographic data.
Many more sources for geospatial data about the United States can be found here.
From Indiana University--Purdue University Indianapolis.
Estimates of global population and other socioeconomic variables at a fine spatial scale.
Unique maps of socioeconomic variables at global scale.
Over 25,000 data sets on the environment and Earth science, curated by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
1893-present. Historical weather data for several dozen Iowa locations.
Downloadable environmental spatial data for Iowa.
Spacial data on mineral resources from the USGS.
Formerly the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). Maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Includes bathymetry and other marine data, natural hazards, and geomagnetic data.
From the National Resources Conservation Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural and environmental data for the U.S.
GIS layers for climate data, with a resolution of one square kilometer.
A global database of agricultural land-use information. Created by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the International Food Policy Research Institute. Data can be mapped online or downloaded for use in desktop GIS programs.
Excellent source for data and GIS layers on global development issues.
Land cover, predicted distribution for common vertibrate species, and land ownership/stewardship information for the entire United States.
Data on the geographic distribution of amphibians and reptiles.
Data on the geographic distribution of over 100,000 ocean-dwelling species.
High-resolution historical maps of Iowa. Maps can be downloaded.
An outstanding collection of historical and contemporary maps held by the University of Texas at Austin Perry-Castaneda Library
Thematic maps of health care indicators in the U.S.
Formerly Environmental Justice Geographic Assessment Tool. From the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For research on local toxic sites.
Formerly the Food Desert Locator. From the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.
Quick access to aerial photographs and topographic maps from Microsoft Research Maps and the USGS.
Interactive display of quantitative data.
= Restricted resource
= Video files
= Audio files
= Scholarly articles
= Quantitative data
= Highly recommended
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