Important Sites to Download Freely Available GIS Data-sets Across the World!

As a researcher, it is always troublesome to find right datasets for right projects. It could be more infuriating when you lose the websites that you’ve been downloading the data from. The best idea is to bookmark the important websites so that you will never loose them.

Check these websites to Download GIS Data- Globalor “Download GIS Data for USA”

So, guys here are about 300 of websites by country name (across the world) that in-house the GIS datasets. Make sure to bookmark this page.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Afghanistan

  • USGS Afghanistan Datasets: They range from Landsat images to topographic products and the results of airborne surveys. Some are commercially available products. Some were compiled from existing data, both historical and current.
  • Afghanistan Election Data: This platform features and visualizes publicly available data on key aspects of the electoral process.
  • Humanitarian Response Afghanistan: Wide range of datasets including education, health, water and logistics layer

Algeria

  • OCHA Services: Contains 3 levels of administrative boundaries: Admin level 0, Admin level 1, Admin Level 2. Admin 0 boundary refers to Algeria country boundary – Polygon, Admin 1 refers to Governorates – (Wilaya- province) -Polygon, and Admin 2 refers to district (Commune) -Polygon. 

Antarctica

  • Antarctic Digital Database: Compilation of medium-scale topographic data for Antarctica, managed by the British Antarctic Survey. Registration required
  • Quantarctica: Quantarctica includes a complete, user-configurable basemap for Antarctica and the subantarctic from the south pole to 40°S, as well as high-quality, peer-reviewed, free and open Antarctic scientific data in ten different themes chosen by our Editorial Board.
  • US Antarctic Resource Centre: It maintained the nation’s most comprehensive collection of Antarctic aerial photography, maps, charts, satellite imagery and technical reports. 
  • Australian Antarctic Data Centre: Data from the Australian antarctic program, including sea ice data, aerial photographs, GIS Datasets, maps, and satellite images.
  • US National Ice Centre – Antarctic Daily Ice Extents: The National Ice Center produces daily shape files depicting the ice edge and the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) around the polar regions.
  • National Snow and Ice Data Centre: A wide range of Antarctic data from the US-based National Snow and Ice Data Centre
  • Polar View – Antarctic Node: Polar View delivers information about sea ice and icebergs direct to ships operating in the Southern Ocean. Synthetic Aperture Radar, plus derived sea ice concentration and ice charts for download, covering the Antarctic coast.
  • BEDMAP2: Bedmap2 is a new suite of gridded products describing surface elevation, ice-thickness and the sea floor and subglacial bed elevation of the Antarctic south of 60◦ S. It is the significantly improved, version of datasets for ice bed, surface and ice thickness in Antarctica.

Arctic

  • IPA Circum-arctic Permafrost Map: GRID-Arendal photos, videos, graphics and other material are free for attributed use. Vector map of permafrost and ground ice in the arctic region, from the International Permafrost Association.
  • Arctic Ocean Sea Surface Temperatures: Contains Geographic Information System (GIS) data in georeferenced vector (point) and raster formats.Sea Surface Temperature from 1981-2009 in both raster (.img), vector (.shp), and ASCII (.csv) formats

Argentina

Australia

Austria

  • Vienna Digital Terrain Model: 5m resolution Digital Terrian Model of Vienna, Austria. Click the green button on the top right to download as a TIFF file.
  • Vienna City Survey: Very detailed vector mapping of the whole of the City of Vienna – extremely high-level of detail.

B

Belgium

Belize

  • Belize Spatial Data Warehouse: A range of data for Belize, including boundaries, ecosystems, protected areas, historic roads, basemaps and settlements.

Bhutan

Bolivia

Brazil

  • Brazil Geosciences Products: Wide range of datasets for Brazil, including basemaps, administrative boundaries and land use. You may need a bit of Portuguese knowledge to use the site, and some maps are only available in PDF format. Many are available as Shapefiles in the directories whose names end with SHAPE. 

C

Canada

  • GeoGratis: A wide range of free datasets covering Canada including population, Landsat mosaics, land capability, hydrology and radar data – as well as many others.
  • Open Government: A wide range of open data, including lots of geographic data. All data from GeoGratis (above) is migrated to this platform.
  • Toporama: Simplified raster versions of the standard National Topographic Survey maps at 1:50,000 and 1:250,000. This is the interactive map, the static GeoTIFF files are available here
  • Alaska and Canada Land Cover: 1km resolution land cover data for Alaska and Canada.
  • Canada Road Network File: Canada’s national road network as shapefile data with information including street names, types, directions and address ranges.
  • Canadian Soil Information Service: Soil maps for the whole of Canada available for download in GIS formats (mainly shapefiles with associated attribute data). Includes lots of metadata and process/methodology information.

Central America

Chile

China

  • China Dimensions Data Collection: GIS data including administrative regions, census data linked to maps and agricultural data.
  • Diamond Bay Data: Chinese counties, census statistics and Digital Chart of the World China GIS layers.
  • China Historical GIS: Historical boundaries, tribal areas etc for China from 1820 back to 222 BCE. Registration required

Cyprus

  • DEM for Cyprus from ALOS-2 DSM: A DEM of Cyprus, clipped to the island’s boundary and with various error statistics, derived from the ALOS Digital Surface Model

D

Denmark

  • Kortforsyningen: A wide range of data for Denmark including aerial photos, LiDAR data, historical maps and more. Registration required
  • Danmarks Miljoportal: Environmental and ecological data for Denmark

E

East Timor

  • Timor-Leste GIS Portal: Wide range of datasets for East Timor, including infrastructure, natural environment, road networks, base maps, elevation and more.

F

Finland

  • National Land Survey of Finland: A wide range of data including general topographic maps (1:1,000,000 and 1:4,500,000), administrative divisions, elevations and place names and orthophotos for Finland. (For bulk download, in Finnish, try here
  • Finnish Meteorological Service: Open meteorological data for Finland
  • Statistics for Finland: Demographic data available for download
  • Helsinki data: Geographic data in a wide range of categories – both raster and vector – for Helsinki
  • HELCOM Baltic sea data: Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission) data on the whole Baltic sea area including biodiversity, environmental monitoring, pollution and more.

France

  • IGN: Free GIS data for France including relief, drainage, boundaries, raster maps and coastline. In French
  • ParisData: Open Data for Paris, including lots of georeferenced data. In French
  • Coastal Orthophotos: Orthophotos over the whole of the French coast available for download. In French

G

Germany

  • NIBIS GIS: German GIS aggregation service allowing you to display and download various maps of Germany.
  • German Postal Areas: Vector polygons of German postal areas (similar to zip code or postcode areas). In German

Greece

  • Greece Open Geodata: The Greek government’s open GeoData portal, with a wide range of datasets.

I

Iceland

India

Indonesia

  • The World Bank Group: The GIS database contains the following datasets: SHP (promising sites), Admin Divisions, Topomas_grid, Rivers, Geology, Forest_areas, Roads, Rainfall Gauges, Runoff Gauges, and Electric System, each accompanied by a metadata file.
  • ESRI Indonesia.

Ireland

Italy

J

Japan

K

Kenya

  • Kenya GIS: Wide range of GIS data (provided as shapefiles) for Kenya including population, land cover, agriculture, poverty and climate.
  • International Livestock Research Institute: Administrative boundaries, villages, agricultural statistics, economical statistics and much more.
  • Kenya Open Data: The Kenyan governmental open data site, with a range of data covering the areas of education, poverty, employment agriculture, justice and more.

M

Mexico

  • Georeferenced Population: 1990 population for Mexican states, municipalities and islands. Data aligns with US TIGER data at US-Mexican border.

N

Namibia

  • Digital Atlas of Namibia: Freely available data for Namibia in categories of Climate, Physical Geography, Living-resources, Land and History and People, Services and Infrastructure.
  • Namib Sand Sea Digital Database: Set of data covering the Namib Sand Sea (area of sand dunes in Namibia) including DEMs, satellite images, point ages and dune crests

Nepal

Netherlands

  • PDOK: Digital topographic maps at various scales available as both vector and raster data.
  • Overijssel GIS Open Data: Open GIS data for the Dutch region of Overijssel.

New Zealand

  • LINZ Topographic Maps: Freely available raster copies of Land Information New Zealand topographic maps at 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scales. Equivalent of Ordnance Survey maps for New Zealand.
  • LINZ Data Service: A new service by Land Information New Zealand. Topographic, hydrographic, survey, titles and geodetic datasets are freely accessible with more LINZ datasets added over time. Aerial photographs for the whole of New Zealand have recently been added.
  • Koordinates: GIS data aggregation site which focuses especially on New Zealand. It includes data in a number of categories such as elevation, environment, climate etc. Mostly vector, but some raster. Registration required
  • LRIS Data Portal: GIS data for New Zealand from Landcare Research, focussing on soil and environmental data and including 25m-resolution DEMs of North and South Island.
  • New Zealand Bathymetry: 250m-resolution raster bathymetry data for New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • Department of Conservation Geoportal: A range of conservation-related datasets to download, including conservation areas, marine reserves, campsites, huts and area boundaries.

Norway

P

Papa New Guinea

  • Coastline: 1:50,000 coastline of Papa New Guinea, in MapInfo format. Derived from Landsat data.

Peru

  • GeoCatMin: Wide range of geodata for Peru including administrative boundaries, geomorphology, geology, hydrology, satellite images and more.

Philippines

  • GIS Data Clearinghouse: Various datasets relating to the Philippines including boundaries, DEMs, rainfall, and river data.

Portugal

  • Portugese Web Atlas: Many datasets including physical geography data (temperature, wind, geology, seismic data, ecology, soils), human geography data (tourism, population, services), protected areas and detailed data on the Azores and Madeira. Also has a small amount of data on Angola and Mozambique.
  • Portugese Water Atlas: Huge amount of data on everything related to water in Portugal – basins, river networks, bathymetry and so on.

Puerto Rico

  • Geology of Puerto Rico: Detailed geological maps in vector format, with extended attribute information. From USGS

R

Romania

  • geo-spatial.org Romania: Good selection of vector and raster layers for Romania, including historical information.
  • GeoIDEA.RO: GEodata Openness Initiative for Development and Economic Advancement in Romania – a wide range of open geodata for Romania.

Russia

S

Slovenia

Spain

South Africa

Switzerland

  • SwissTopo: Data from the Swiss National Mapping Agency including boundaries, 1:1 million vector maps, Landsat images, geological maps and a map of Switzerland during the last glacial maximum.
  • Swiss Geoportal: The Geoportal of the Swiss Confederation – with some data available directly and others via links to other sites

U

United Kingdom

  • General
    • OS OpenData: Many Ordnance Survey mapping products available in both vector and raster formats. Resolutions from 1:250k to 1:10k as well as detailed gazateers, boundary datasets and post-code point locations. Now also includes topologically correct road and river networks, and more detailed topographic map data.
    • Data.gov.uk: Huge amounts of data, a fair proportion of which is georeferenced. Useful datasets include snapshots of public transport journeys and lists of public transport stops.
    • ShareGeo Open: Directory of free GIS data for the UK, easily searchable – includes wide range of data including boundaries, national parks, contours, archeological sites and much more.
    • MAGIC Datastore: A wide range of datasets for the UK including boundaries, pipelines, urban areas, health and safety and more. Many entries in the database are links to other sites and some require registration.
    • New Popular Edition OS Maps: Scans of many of the (out-of-copyright) New Popular Edition OS maps from the 1940s and 1950s. Available to view online and to download by contacting the authors.
    • Guardian Datablog: Wide range of data, mostly UK-focused but some international, collected by The Guardian newspaper in the UK.
    • Geomatics Group LiDAR: LiDAR data covering a good proportion of the UK, as DSMs and DTMs, freely available for non-commercial usage. Registration Required
    • Environment Agency GeoStore: A wide range of GIS data from the UK Environment Agency, including canal/river data, listed buildings, environmental restrictions, protected areas and more.
    • Lle Geoportal for Wales: A wide range of geographic data for Wales, mostly environmental and natural resources related.
    • Emu DataPacks: Datasets created by combining and cleaning various bits of open data. Includes building heights, London Underground maps, important buildings and more.
  • Ecology
    • Natural England: Natural landscape boundaries including areas of National Parks, National Nature Reserves, SSSIs, Common Land, AONBs, Bogs, Mudflats etc.
  • Oceanography
    • Marine Scotland Interactive: A range of data on the seas around Scotland, including monitoring stations, renewable energy, protected areas and wildlife data.
  • Atmosphere, Weather and Climate
  • Energy
  • Historical Data
    • Great Britain Historical Database Online: Historical statistics linked to spatial areas including census data, births/marriages/deaths statistics and many others.
    • Atlas of Rural Settlement in England: GIS data of the maps from Brian Roberts and Stuart Wrathmella’s An Atlas of Rural Settlement in England, including extensive metadata. Includes locations of settlements, provinces and regions as well as terrain types and more.
  • Geology
  • Population
    • ONS Geoportal: Downloadable data from the Office for National Statistics, including census data, administrative boundaries, postcode locations etc.
    • Census boundary data: Boundaries for census data areas, for both current and historical censuses
    • OpenPopGrid: An open gridded population dataset for England and Wales, produced using dasymetric mapping to assign population numbers only to areas containing residential buildings.
  • Education
    • Edubase: Data from the UK Government on all educational establishments (Nurseries, Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Universities) in England and Wales. To download data, click Subscribe on the left and register. Two downloads are permitted per year.
  • Buildings and Points of Interest
    • Postbox locations: Locations of Royal Mail postboxes across the UK, derived from a Freedom of Information request to Royal Mail, plus OpenStreetMap data. Provided in tab-separated format, with latitude and longitude co-ordinates
    • Open Postcode Geo: ‘Value-added’ UK postcode data, excluding Northern Ireland, containing hierarchical postcode areas (districts, sectors etc) as well as latitude/longitude, easting/northing and more.
    • Postcode boundaries: Postcode boundaries at multiple levels (from postal town areas to unit postcodes), released under an open data license.
    • Postcode boundaries: Similar to the above, but more up-to-date, and generated from CodePoint Open.
  • Misc
    • Police data archive: Police data showing all recorded crimes and their location, type and eventual outcome.
  • City-specific

United States of America (USA)

United Arab Emirates


This blog is greatly influenced by Robin Wilsons blog. Many thanks to him for collecting such a huge directory of websites.


I know I have missed many countries, and many websites. Should I have missed your country or you know more websites, please feel free to comment below. I will be happy to include them in this web-page.


5 thoughts on “Important Sites to Download Freely Available GIS Data-sets Across the World!”

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