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Geography and Environment

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AfricaMap (Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University.)
The AfricaMap project at Harvard University was developed "to make spatial data on Africa easier for researchers to discover and explore." The initial map view begins with a "Google Physical" layer; users can then use the "Map Layers" tab to view and select from a list of currently-available layers for display or download, including environmental datasets, historical maps, governance datasets, and linguistic distribution layers. The "Places" tab allows users to add layers displaying regions, populated places, and entities like farms and schools.

ArcGIS Explorer: Free GIS Data Viewer (esri (formerly Environmental Systems Research Institute))
From the web site: "ArcGIS Explorer is a free, downloadable GIS viewer that gives you an easy way to explore, visualize, and share GIS information." In addition to the free ArcGIS Explorer software, this site also offers free newsletters and networking with other users, plus information on esri's commercial products and services.

BP Energy Economics (bp)
BP (formerly British Petroleum) has been publishing an annual Statistical Review of World Energy since 1951. Data is current up to the year prior to publication, e.g. the 2012 edition has 2011 data. The publication is on the site in PDF, with charts and maps in PPT and downloadable data in Excel. Most of the time series go back to the 1960s or 1970s, with annual crude oil prices back as far as 1861. There is a report on energy outlook containing BP's projections of long-term energy trends.

Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics)
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics-IBGE is the Country's main provider of data and information to answer the requirements from the various segments of civil society, as well as from federal, state and local government agencies. Current socio-economic statistics are available from this site, with text in Portuguese, English and Spanish.

Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) (Columbia University)
Columbia University's CIESIN works with on-line data applications and training in the fields of social and natural sciences. The site features links to freely-available data from CIESIN's ftp servers, such as the China Dimensions Data Collection and the Environmental Sustainability Index.

Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) (Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and University of Wisconsin-Madison)
The Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies presents the SAGE (Center for Sustainability and Global Environment) web site at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The SAGE program takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining "the linkages between natural resources, human health and security, and changes in the global environment." On its "Data & Models" page, the SAGE site carries a number of datasets and data models addressing the global environment, and how it is being affected by human activities. These resources include the IBIS (Integrated Biosphere Simulator) computer model of the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems, the THMB (Terrestrial Hydrology Model with Biogeochemistry) model (formerly called HYDRA), simulating freshwater flow through groundwater systems, rivers, lakes and wetlands, global land use and river discharge data, and others.

City Comparison (Sperling's Best Places)
This site provides information for comparisons between hundreds of U.S. cities on such categories as tax rates, job growth, home purchase costs, public schools, and crime. Primarily intended to help people make relocation decisions, it's also useful for general quick profiles of demographic and cost-of-living information on U.S. cities.

Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource (CEDR) (U.S. Department of Energy)
The Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource (CEDR) is a "public-use repository of data from occupational and environmental health studies of workers at DOE facilities and nearby community residents. DOE is the federal agency responsible for the development, testing, and production of nuclear weapons. Because this work involves exposures to ionizing radiation and other potentially hazardous materials, DOE established an epidemiologic program in the 1960's to monitor the health of its workforce. Later, an environmental dose reconstruction program was initiated to study the potential health risks due to releases that traveled off-site to communities near DOE facilities." The site includes multiple datasets related to radiation and health. Abstracts are available in html format. Users must be authorized to view data from the site. Click on sign up on the menu bar to become an authorized CEDR user.

County-Level Data on Hospitals and Epidemiology Stations, 1950-85 (Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN))
The China Task Team of SEDAC (Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center) at CIESIN has developed a large collection of data on China to be used in consort with GIS systems. This one contains hospital and epidemiological station data for the administrative regions of China from 1950 to 1985.

CrimeStat III (National Institute of Justice and Inter-University Consortium on Political and Social Research (ICPSR))
CrimeStat III is a Windows-based spatial statistics program, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and available for download at the ICPSR website. The program is used by police departments and researchers to analyze crime incident locations. CrimeStat III allows for spatial distribution analysis, distance analysis, space-time analysis, journey to crime analysis, and crime travel demand modeling. The CrimeStat download is accompanied by sample datasets and a user manual.

Cutler/Glaeser/Vigdor Segregation Data (David Cutler, Edward Glaeser, Jacob Vigdor)
This geographic/historical dataset contains ASCII files for years 1890-2000, documentation concerning the segregation measures and supplemental census geographic data. Note: the site is no longer being maintained at Duke University. The link is to a version archived by the "Wayback Machine" in 2008.

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) (U.S. State Department Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago)
The DOSFAN Electronic Research Collection (ERC) carries an archive of historical documents from 1993 to 1997 from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. The archives include country- and issue-specific information on sociopolitical situations, economic trends, democracy, human rights, culture, development assistance, environment, terrorism, and more. For current materials, see the U.S. Department of State web site.

DEWA/GRID-Geneva (United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP))
DEWA/GRID-Geneva is part of UNEP's global group of environmental information centres, known as the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) network. DEWA/GRID-Geneva provides environmental data and information for reviewing the state of the environment and providing early warning on environmental problems and threats. GRID-Geneva also offers technical services and environmental products. Products on the DEWA/GRID-Geneva site include publications, maps and graphics, and geospatial datasets at various scales (global, continental, national and subnational) on a variety of environment related themes. The data are provided free of charge.

Energy Information Administration (U.S. Department of Energy)
The Energy Information Administration offers a site that provides information on the consumption and production of energy within the U.S. Users can access energy information by sources and uses, topics, or geography. A search engine is available as well as a number of featured topics including "Energy Situation Analysis Report," "Special Analyses of Energy Issues," "Weekly Petroleum Status Report," and many others. See the "Data Tools and Models" are of the site for access to data query tools and time series.

Extreme Weather Sourcebook 2001 (National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) and others)
The Extreme Weather Sourcebook 2001 provides a look at the economic and societal affects of extreme weather. The site is broken down by extreme weather phenomena, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, floods, and others. It includes rankings of monetary damage by each weather pattern by state and territory. Rankings are in tabulated and graph format. For other categories, there is information on deaths and injuries by the particular phenomena.

Flood Damage in the United States (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research)
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research has re-analyzed data from the National Weather Service on estimates of costs due directly to flood damage in the United States. Three datasets are available on this site: national, by state, and by drainage basin. Users can download the datasets in their entirety, or select areas and years to display. Coverage currently extends from 1926 to 2003 for national estimates, 1955 to 2003 for state estimates, and 1933 to 1975 for drainage basin estimates.

GeoCommunicator (Bureau of Land Management)
For those interested in obtaining and trading data related to land management and land records, the GeoCommunicator web site is an excellent resource. Provided by the United States Bureau of Land Management, the GeoCommunicator offers features such as a communication forum in which interested parties can find and share data related to land management and records. Also included in the site are a geocom explorer which allows users to access a wide variety of geographic information. Search capability allows users to look up information about various areas of land through a variety of means, and lets the user narrow the search to their liking. It also provides various maps as well as a means to publish data through forums on the web site.

Geographic Codes Lookup (Missouri Census Data Center (MCDC))
Missouri Census Data Center (MCDC) creates this page for looking up standard codes for areas grouped into common census geographic summary levels. For United States, it includes regions, divisions, states, Micropolitan/Metropolitan Statistical Areas (CBSAs) and places. For each state it has counties, places, CBSAs, urban areas/clusters, school districts, and county subdivisions. Populations are shown in parentheses after each area on the list. Most codes are linked. The link leads to a page that lists multiple data sources for the selected area.

Geospatial and Attribute Links (University of Arkansas Libraries Geographic Information Systems and Maps)
The Geospatial and Attribute Links collection builds on Stephan Pollard's "Starting the Hunt" guide, hosted by the University of Arkansas libraries from 2001-2005. Links are categorized by place (a special section for Arkansas, U.S. states or national, Canadian provinces or national, international) and then into either the "attribute" or "geospatial" category. Links are not annotated, other than listing the host institution/organization for each link.

GIS Guide to Good Practice (Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS))
This UK-based site is for those who create, maintain, use and and preserve GIS-based digital resources. Although the overall emphasis is upon archaeological data, the information presented has much wider disciplinary implications. As well as providing a source of useful generic information, the guide emphasises the processes of long-term preservation, archiving and effective data re-use.

Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) (U.S. National Air and Space Administration (NASA))
The Global Change Master Directory is a large database of records containing annotated links pointing to web pages for "Earth science datasets and services relevant to global change and Earth science research." The section on Human Dimensions, available as a link from the front page, makes the connection between the physical sciences that are the primary emphasis of the directory and the social sciences upon which global change impacts. The Human Dimensions section of the directory includes close to 3,400 records in the categories of Attitudes/Preferences/Behavior, Economic Resources, Human Health, Natural Hazards and more. Each record contains links, a brief text summary, contact information for the person or entity that created the site, and in many cases a Google Earth map showing the geographic coverage of the information.

Global Forest Watch (World Research Institute)
This site focuses on de-forestation. The site includes a large data warehouse in which users can register for a free download of up to 35 gigabytes of data. Global Forest Watch also includes map-based analysis and users can customize maps for Gabon, Cameroon, and Canada. To browse and explore its datasets, visit http://data.globalforestwatch.org/ .

Global Population Database (CIESIN)
Used to map the populations of 107 countries, in three subsets: Total, Rural, and Urban population counts. The database uses a rectangular grid for mapping of 20 minutes of latitude by 30 minutes of longitude (about 2,000 square kilometers at the equator). For urban areas of more than 25,000 people, density circles are drawn to provide more detail. Population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau's International Programs Center allow for the latest migration patterns. Documentation viewable on the web site, data available via FTP in ARC/INFO format.

Great Britain Historical GIS Project (University of Portsmouth)
The Great Britain Historical GIS Project aims to be a comprehensive description of Great Britain and places within Great Britain, back through history. The project contains geographic information ranging from mapped coordinates to text descriptions from gazetteers and historical travel accounts. The project also includes a vast quantity of geographically-linked historical social data, much of which makes up the Great Britain Historical Database. The GIS project produces the graphically-rich Vision of Britain through time site; see in particular the Statistical Atlas.

International Shark Attack File (ISAF) (Florida Museum of Natural History and American Elasmobranch Society)
The International Shark Attack File site is the online face for an ongoing compilation of over 5000 shark attack investigations, from the mid-1500s to the present. Visitors will find maps, graphs, and HTML tables of shark attack numbers, along with articles putting shark attacks into perspective. The site also provides ordering information for publications and a database compiled of early case-histories from the ISAF.

International Studies Compendium Project Datasets (The International Studies Association)
International Studies Compendium Project compiles a list of links to datasets for international studies. They are organized by topics, such as Interstate Conflict Data, Event Data, Interstate Rivalry, Contentious Issues, Intrastate, Civil, and Ethnic Conflict Data, Human Rights and Repression, Terrorism, Conflict Management Data, Geographic Data Contiguity and Distance, Conflict Location Data, Individual Political Leaders, Power and Capability Data, Minorities/Diversity/Heterogeneity, International Law Data, and Prominent Replication Data Sets.

Introduction to Census Resources (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Data and Information Services Center (DISC))
This is a guide developed at DPLS, to acquaint users with 1990 Census data. The guide is divided into sections that discuss various aspects of the Census such as geography, outlines of printed and machine-readable products, sampling and the presentation of data, and a searching tool for finding further information.

MABLE/GEOCORR Geographic Correspondence Engine for 1990 and 2000 Censuses (University of Missouri St. Louis and CIESIN)
An interactive database which allows researchers to input source geographic units, and receive equivalent target units to provide correlation, or crosswalk tables. Any geographic unit specified in the 1990 Census, from nation down to block level, plus special designated areas such as Congressional Districts, ZIP codes, and PUMAs from the Public-Use Microdata Samples may be used as either source or target geocodes. The user may choose to weight the correlation by either population, housing unit counts or land area, depending on the subject. The gigantic database that underlies this operation is called MABLE--Master Area Block Level Equivalency file. MABLE contains nearly seven million block-level entries--the smallest Census unit, used as the 'atoms' to build up the equivalency files. Census 2000 geography is available at http://mcdc2.missouri.edu/websas/geocorr2k.html.

MABLE/GEOCORR Geographic Correspondence Engine for 2010 Census (Missouri Census Data Center)
An interactive database which allows researchers to input source geographic units, and receive equivalent target units to provide correlation, or crosswalk tables. Any geographic unit specified in the 2010 Census, from nation down to block level, plus special designated areas such as Congressional Districts, ZIP codes, and PUMAs from the Public-Use Microdata Samples may be used as either source or target geocodes. The user may choose to weight the correlation by either population, housing unit counts or land area, depending on the subject. The gigantic database that underlies this operation is called MABLE--Master Area Block Level Equivalency file.

MapQuest (MapQuest)
MapQuest offers online mapping services. It allows you to enter a street address for anywhere in the U.S. and many countries in the world and have it return you a map showing the street network centered on the address you entered. Driving directions from one address to another are also available.

Master Area Geographic Glossary Of Terms (MAGGOT) (Missouri Census Data Center)
This document supplies useful definitions of geographic units ("geocodes") commonly used in geographic databases such as MABLE/Geocorr. Included are definitions for State, County, MCD-CCD (County Subdivisions), Place, Census Tract, Block Group and Census Block.

Mineral Resources Program Online Spatial Data (U.S. Geological Survey)
Access to data on mineral resources. Digital datasets include geology, geochemistry, geophysics, mineral resources, base maps, and other data. Coverage varies from regional to global. The data are presented in an interactive map-based format that allows the user to create individualized maps by selecting datasets and map areas (based on ArcView IMS).

Nang Rong Projects (Thailand) (Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University (Thailand))
(from the web site) "The Nang Rong Projects are designed to monitor and promote understanding of the sweeping demographic, social, and environmental changes taking place in Nang Rong, Thailand, over the last 20 years. Scholars from across the US and Thailand contribute to research on life course choices, fertility and contraceptive behavior, migration processes, and land use/land cover change." The projects include a household census (1984, 1994, 2000); migrant follow-up data (1994/5, 2000/1); documentation of social networks; community-level data; and GIS sources. Most of the household data and migrant follow-up data are downloadable for public use, while other areas of the data are restricted and require an IRB-approved research plan and a contractual confidentiality agreement.

National Children's Study (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
"The National Children's Study will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21." The idea of "environmental" influences is broadly defined and includes biological and chemical factors, physical surroundings, social factors, behavioral influences and outcomes, genetics, cultural and family influences and differences, and geographic location. The NCS Pilot Study began in 2009, testing methods and procedures planned for use in a larger Main Study. When recruitment ended in July 2013, the Vanguard Study had enrolled approximately 5,000 children in 40 locations across the country. Due to budget constraints in the following years, the NCS ended in 2014. However, researchers can register to access the NCS Vanguard (Pilot) Study from this site.

National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) (Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota)
The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) a massive database covering all available aggregate US census data between 1790 and 2010. Funded largely by the National Science Foundation, the NHGIS not only incorporates existing census data, but also creates high-quality electronic boundary files for census tracts dating back to 1790. The project covers population, economic, and agricultural census data as well as selected voting statistics, land-use data and information on physical geography. Free registration required for access to the data.

National Park Service GIS Data and Information (U.S. National Park Service)
This National Park Service site carries an interactive map application for park visitors and an archive of GIS datasets. The data include nationwide Civil War site data, monuments and structures, visitor service data, and historic and scenic trails.

National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) (University of Colorado in Boulder)

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) disseminates data and supports study of earth's snow and ice in their various forms, otherwise known as the cryosphere.

An Education Center page on the site offers background on topics such as frozen ground, glaciers, snow, and sea ice. The heart of the site, however, is its over 500 data products, most of which are available free of charge. The site helpfully groups one set of data products together under the heading of "Easy to Use," denoting products that require minimal programming or processing, including a Sea Ice Index, Frozen Ground Maps, an animated Atlas of the Cryosphere, and a glacier photograph collection. The larger collection topic areas that may have interdisciplinary overlap with the social sciences include terrain and vegetation, ground and surface water, frozen ground, snow cover and lake ice data.

NHS Digital (National Health Service, U.K.)
NHS Digital is the national provider of information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care.

OECD Factbook (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD))
OECD Factbook is a comprehensive and dynamic statistical publication. Close to 100 indicators cover a wide range of areas: economy, education, energy, transportation, environment, development, health, industry, information and communications, population, employment and labour, trade and investment, taxation, public expenditure and R&D. Starting in OECD Factbook 2015-2016 new indicators are included on a number of regional indicators including GDP by metropolitan area. The Factbook is available through the UW-Madison OECD iLibrary subscription.

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection (PCL) (University of Texas at Austin)
The PCL Map Collection holds more than 230,000 maps covering every area of the world. Over 5,700 of these (as of 2006) have been scanned and made digitally available from this web site.

Project GeoSim: Geography Education Software (Virginia Tech)
The following "modules" are available for download to various platforms:

Java applet versions of the programs are available from the main page as well.

Scholars' Lab (University of Virginia)
Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library is set up to assist advanced students and researchers on their digital projects. Their faculty and staff focus on the digital humanities, geospatial information, and scholarly making and building at the intersection of our digital and physical worlds.

School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS) (The College of William and Mary and the Minnesota Population Center and University of Minnesota)

The School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS) provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for school attendance areas, or school catchment areas, for selected areas in the United States for the 2009-2010 school year.

SABINS data are delivered through the SABINS/NHGIS data extraction system. Users select data tables and GIS school boundary files, and the system creates a custom-made extract containing this information. Data are generated on the SABINS server, and the system sends out an email message to the user when the extract is completed. The user must download the extract and analyze it on their local machine. Free registration is required to submit an extract request.

Social Explorer (Social Explorer)
The Social Explorer website provides current and historical census data and demographic information about the United States, using an online thematic map and report application. Its contents include US Census, American Community Survey (ACS), the Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS), InfoGroup data on religious congregations in the US and carbon emissions data from the Vulcan Project. UW-Madison has a subscription to this interactive online tool.

Social Science & Government Data Library (University of California, Berkeley)

The Social Science and Government Data Library (SSGDL) is a collaboration between the UC-Berkeley Library and UC DATA on the University of California, Berkeley campus. The SSGDL web site carries both an extraction system and FTP links for U.S. Census Data. The extraction system contains 1990 census data from SSTF1, SSTF2 (Ancestry of the Population of the US) SSTF3 (Persons of Hispanic Origin in the United States), and SSTF5 (Characteristics of Asian and Pacific Islander Population of the US). Users can pick both geographies and variables.

The FTP files available from the site include:

  • Census 2000: Summary File 1 (SF1), Redistricting Data (P.L. 94-171), Race and Hispanic or Latino Summary
  • 1990 Census: Congressional Districts in the U.S., Equal Employment Opportunity File, Public Law 94-171 data, Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) - 1% and 5% data, Summary Tape File 1B (includes PR files), Summary Tape File 3 (includes 3A, 3B, and 3C), Subject Summary Tape Files
  • 1970 Census Fifth Count Special Tabulation
  • County & City Databook 1988 and 1994
  • Current Population Survey files between 1988 and 1993
  • Economic Census Data (1987, 1992, 1997)
  • TIGER/Line 1997 files

Downloaded FTP files use the "Go" extraction system.

Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use (United Nations Statistics Division)
This site presents a list of the names of countries or areas in alphabetical order, with three-digit numerical codes used for statistical processing purposes by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Secretariat and three-digit alphabetical codes assigned by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Excerpted from the United Nations publication "Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use, Revision 4."

State of the Nation's Cities: A Comprehensive Database on American Cities and Suburbs (Center for Urban Policy Studies, Rutgers University)
This database of 77 cities and suburbs was contracted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the 1996 United Nations' Habitat II conference. The SONC database brings together over 3,000 variables from a wide variety of sources, allowing easy comparability of indicators on employment and economic development, demographic measures, housing and land use, income and poverty, fiscal conditions, and a host of other health, social, and environmental indicators." Users may download in a variety of formats including plain ASCII, SPSS portable file, Excel file, SAS formatted file, and a special file for Macintosh users.

The Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (National Science Foundation)
The CSISS site focuses on the importance of space, location, and place in social science research. The site features learning tools and bibliographies regarding GIS and social sciences, as well as a search engine and annotated links to spatial tools elsewhere on the web. In development is a data search engine intended for searching across social science data archives.

The Consortium for International Earth Science Information (CIESIN) (Columbia University)
The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) is a center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University. CIESIN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences, and specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment. The web site features two metadata catalogs and downloadable data such as the China Dimensions data collection and the U.S. PUMA boundary files for 1990.

The Correlates of War (COW) Project (Zeev Maoz and D. Scott Bennett)
The Correlates of War Project was founded in 1963 to systematically accumulate scientific knowledge about war. It has assembled datasets on the incidence and extent of inter-state and extra-systemic war in the post-Napoleonic period. Users are required to agree to COW's terms and conditions of usage before they can download a COW data set. Its external links page has a list of resources on quantitative international relations.

Toxic Release Inventory Program (United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA))
The Toxic Release Inventory Program web site sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency allows users to view data and information about toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities. TRI Data and Tools allows users to query and display TRI data.

TranStats (U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics)
TranStats comprises a broad collection of over 100 transportation datasets from various federal sources such as the Department of Transportation and the Census Bureau. TranStats is searchable by keyword or category. Some of the data descriptions link to data stored on other sites; for the many datasets stored at TranStats, however, users have interactive control over which variables to download, in addition to interactive analysis tools (simple statistical summaries, create time series or cross tabulations, generate graphics online, and cut/paste results into reports). A "mapping center" is also available through TranStats, carrying the National Transportation Atlas Databases (NTAD) and other transportation mapping tools. Note: TranStats was formerly known as the Intermodal Transportation Database.

U.S. Gazetteer (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
Provides links to downloadable U.S. Census gazetteer files since 1990 for various places, districts, indigenous lands, counties, county subdivisions, and ZCTAs (ZIP Code Tabulation Area). Files are decennial from 1990-2010, annual since 2012.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (United Nations Environment Programme)
The mission of the UNEP is to "provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations." This site provides information on the state of the global environment, environmental issues, products and services, countries and regions, and environmental legal instruments. Click on the link to resources for scientists/academics to access UNEP datasets, including the GEOdata portal.

Water Use in the United States (U.S. Geological Survey)
The U.S. Geological Survey compiles and disseminates the nation's water-use data through its National Water-Use Information program. Water-use data are aggregated at the county, state and the national levels and can be downloaded at water.usgs.gov/watuse/data/.

Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office (Department of Geography, UW-Madison)

  • Wisconsin Catalog of Aerial Photography
  • ControlFinder -- a free application for locating Wisconsin control data (federal, state, and various counties)
  • PLSSFinder -- a free application for locating Wisconsin Public Land Survey System (PLSS) corners
  • Wisconsin Historic Aerial Image Finder (WHAI Finder) -- free online access to over 38,000 aerial photographs of Wisconsin from 1937-41.
  • Wisconsin Land Information Clearinghouse (WiscLINC) -- including a geodata catalog

The site also links to GIS-related data and resources elsewhere online.

World Bank Data (World Bank)
The World Bank launched its World Bank Data site in April 2010, an open-data initiative freely offering indicators and statistics about development that previously were accessible only by subscription. The Data Catalog on the site includes World Development Indicators (UW-Madison previously subscribed), Global Development Finance, Africa Development Indicators, Millennium Development Indicators, and more. The products grouped together in the searchable "Databank" comprise over 2000 indicators, some of which go back as far as 50 years; products from the Databank and others as well can be downloaded in Excel or CSV formats.

World Resources Institute (World Resources Institute)
The World Resources Institute (WRI), funded by private and corporate foundations, has as its mission "to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth's environment for current and future generations." In support of this aim, WRI provides this website with a large collection of papers, tables, presentations and releases dealing with environmental issues worldwide. Data sheets are most often available as PDF documents; free registration required.

Worldmapper (University of Sheffield (UK) and University of Michigan)
The Worldmapper site takes its catchphrase, "The World as You've Never Seen It Before," and puts it into data-driven action, featuring cartograms that display global regions "re-sized according to the subject of interest." A total-population world map, for example, displays India and Japan swollen to outsized proportions, while the United States looms large on the map of private spending on health-care and Southeastern Africa dominates the map of HIV prevalence. Some of the broad topics include health, education, transportation, communication, work, and housing, but the list continues to expand. Each map comes with a downloadable PDF poster and downloadable data files in Excel and OpenDoc format. The Worldmapper project is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield (UK) which hosts the site, and the University of Michigan.

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