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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. 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.

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.

Federal Land Records (U.S. Bureau of Land Management)
Federal Land Records site includes historical documents and tools for finding federal land records across the country. The BLM General Land Office (GLO) Records website provides online access to federal land conveyance records. It has images of more than five million federal land title records issued since 1788. The annual Public Land Statistics report presents information about land management activities. BLM Navigator provides a centralized location to discover and access geospatial data from project, state and national levels

Geocorr Applications (Missouri Census Data Center)
Geocorr previously know as Mable/Geocorr Geographic Correspondence Engine is an interactive tool allowing researchers to input source geographic units, and receive equivalent target units to provide correlation, or crosswalk tables. Any geographic unit specified in U.S. Censuses, from nation down to block level, plus special designated areas such as Congressional Districts, School District, 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.

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 .

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.

GRID-Geneva (United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP))
GRID-Geneva generates various types of resources such as data, data platforms, publications, visuals (maps, graphs, posters), storymaps or multimedia contents. GRID-Geneva also manages numerous high quality geospatial data sets at various scales (global, continental, national and subnational) on a variety of environment related themes. These various resources are all accessible through this website.

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.

Longitudinal Tract Database (LTDB), 1970-2010 (John R. Logan, Zengwang Xu, and Brian J. Stults)
In every U.S. decennial census, many tracts are split, consolidated, or changed to reflect population growth or decline. The Longitudinal Tract Database (LTDB), 1970-2010 provides estimates using 2010 boundaries for a standard set of variables from 1970 through 2000. LTDB inlcudes full count and sample count from decennial censuses, and sample data from the American Community Survey for 2008-2012. LTDB files can be downloaded after you fill out a short user agreement.

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.

Million Neighborhoods Map (Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation. University of Chicago)
The Million Neighborhoods Map is a visual tool that provides a comprehensive look at informal settlements (a.k.a slums) across Africa, Asia, parts of Europe, and Central and South America. It is created to identify communities most in need of roads, power, water, sanitation and other infrastructure. Researchers can fill out a Data Sharing Agreement to access the data at this project site.

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.

National System of Environmental Information and Natural Resources (SNIARN), Mexico (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico)
This site is in Spanish. It has statistical, cartographic and documentary databases on the Mexico's environment and natural resources. Indicators are organized by themes, states, and years. Statistics can be downloaded in Excel and PDF. Visitors can use an interactive tool to query 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."

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 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.

The National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA) (Social Environment and Health Program, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan)
The National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA) is a publicly available national data archive containing contextual measures of the physical and social environment at multiple levels of spatial scale. These measures include walkability, crime, racial residential segregation, socioeconomic disadvantage and affluence, recreational centers, libraries, fast food, climate, healthcare, housing, public transit, civic participation, and others. They can readily be linked to existing survey data, cohort studies, or electronic medical records over more three decades (1980-2020) in various geographic levels: state, county, tract, block group, metropolitan statistical area, and zip code. Browse a list of contextual measures at NaNDA.

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. 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 Disruptions", "International Energy Outlook", "Weekly Petroleum Status Report," and many others. See the "Data Tools, Apps, and Maps" area of the site for access to data query tools, maps, etc.

U.S. Gazetteer (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
The U.S. Gazetteer Files provide a listing of all geographic areas for selected geographic area types. The files include geographic identifier codes, names, area measurements, and representative latitude and longitude coordinates.

Uexplore / Dexter (Missouri Census Data Center)
Uexplore / Dexter is a web application in the Missouri Census Data Center's public data archive. Uexploer lets visitors navigate through the directories to locate U.S. Census and other public data files for further processing. Dexter is an application for data extraction. Dexter makes it easy to create subsets but it can be challenging to get exactly what a user wants. Review this Dexter guide, before you extract any data.

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

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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