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A guide for where to get help with GIS and how to get started.

GIS Data

This page contains a few of the many data resources available online. When searching for data online here are a few tips:

  1. If the data, or survey used to collect the data, has a specific name then use that name in your search.
  2. Shapefiles are a common format used for GIS. Use the word 'Shapefile'  or '.shp' in your search.
  3. Use location names in your search relevant to the location you are wanting data about. E.g., Minnesota or Saint Paul.
  4. Search for maps or scholarly literature about the places and issues relevant to to your map, they may have used, and cited, data that you can also use.
  5. If you know, or have an idea, of who collects the data you want then search for data published by that organization. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture publishes a lot of data about agriculture in the United States.

For more data try Macalester's Social Science Data gudie

U.S./ International

Local/ Minnesota Data

Large Data Repositories