Map and Geography Government Resources
Here are selected Geography and Map resources available from government and municipal agencies. For additional links to other map resources see the Geography & Maps Guide.
Note: Government websites change their URLs often. If you find a "dead" link, contact us and we will locate the correct link. Sometimes searching from the "main" URL of a site will allow you to find links to the changed page. When searching, use the name of the link (as entered below) since this is usually how the page is named.
In addition to this selection of sites with map-specific resources, see: Maps & Atlases guide (outside link). Other agencies may be located on a listing of US Government Documents & Information. Go to USA.gov to locate ANY U.S. Government sites.
- Gazetteers: Board of Geographic Names and other government sites for locating names in the U.S. and World, along with references to finding them on maps. List also includes official government gazetteers from a number of countries.
- Agriculture, U.S. Department of (USDA).
- Web Soil Survey. Locate U.S. soil surveys (using GIS), analyze, and view/download maps and data from the National Cooperative Soil Survey. Print Hydric Soil and Soil Chemical Properties maps. Outside of U.S., see: World Soils Maps.
- Erie County Soil Survey
- Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA).
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Buffalo District
- CorpsMap (Enterprise Geospatial Data and Systems for USACE).
CorpsMap is the USACE nationwide enterprise GIS implementation. It is the single authoritative source for USACE national geospatial data assets. CorpsMap consists of an operational geospatial database, an open interface, and a web portal. It supports data analysis and visualization using a Web Browser, Google Earth, ESRI ArcGIS, C/JMTK, and other off-the-shelf software.
- Bureau of the Census. Provides access to census data and related materials. Also provides glossaries, descriptions of types of data, and other information. The following selection have map/GIS materials.
- Census Bureau Map Products A variety of topics and coverage. Includes:
- American FactFinder (On-line Mapping). Create maps for counties and metropolitan areas by providing requests for different characteristics (i.e., income, race, sex, etc.).
- State and County Demographic and Economic Profiles. Click on state, then county to obtain census data. Map may be drawn of the area selected.
- Geography Products. Links to TIGER service and also other Bureau geographic materials.
- U.S. Gazetteer. Lookup names and locations for: cities and towns, rivers and streams, cemeteries, parks, and all other geographic features in the United States. Also links to TIGER system so a map may be generated for the selected location.
- 1990 Census Lookup. Enter a state, county, town, or zip code and create a custom report on a large number of parameters (i.e., age, sex, household, national origin, language, etc.)
- DataFerrett: For TheDataWeb (formerly: Data Extraction System (DES)). Ultimate in census data analysis. A tool for extracting records (rows) and fields (columns) from very large, public-information, data files (for example: survey and census records.) The system produces custom extracts in selectable data file formats (not meant for humans to read) which, when processed, can then be picked up at the Census Bureau's FTP site.
- Additional Census resources available through the UB Libraries guide.
- Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook. Country descriptions, geographical, and vital statistics data. Also has reference maps and other materials. Appendixes include:
- Abbreviations of countries, organizations, agencies, and other groups.
- International Organizations and Groups annotated listing of all sorts of organizations.
- Selected International Environmental Agreements listings and cross-references for a variety of agreements.
- Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes ISO, FIPS, and Internet domain .codes.
- Cross-Reference List of Hydrographic Data Codes regarding oceans and seas.
- Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names Capitals, islands, etc. with CIA country name and cross-references. Also has latitude/longitude for entries.
- Weights and Measures. Comprehensive list for use with the Country Profiles.
- Kid's Page.
- Country Studies/Area Handbooks (Library of Congress). Also has maps and geographical information.
- Education, U.S. Department of.
- National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
- School District Demographics System - Census 2000 Map Viewer. GIS for US. Includes school districts, schools, and has layers for relevant census data.
- Congress, United States. U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection. A major component of the Serial Set is maps. Through subscription, an electronic database may be searched and maps retrieved. The database may be searched ONLY for maps if desired.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Buffalo Brownfields Pilot Sites and data.
- Enviromapper for Watershed. GIS. Generate maps showing watersheds, toxic waste sites, air and water waste emissions, and a variety of other environment activities.
- Clean Air Markets - Data and Maps (GIS site). Air-related maps and geo-data.
- TOXMAP (EPA/National Library of Medicine). GIS-based mapping interface to the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database. It contains information on yearly estimated releases of toxic chemicals to the environment down to the individual facility (point source) level. With TOXMAP, users can create nationwide or local area maps that show where chemicals are released into the air, water, and ground. See also: TRI Explorer.
- Watershed Information Network (WIN) Atlas. Variety of information and data on watersheds. Includes: Surf Your Watershed.
- Window to My Environment. GIS for locating sites of toxic & hazardous waste, air emissions, water dischargers, and other environmental topics. Search using zip code. The map displays sites, gives administrative details, and can display on a several backgrounds (topo map, street map, or satellite image).
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- FEMA Map Assistance Center. Online Access to National Flood Insurance Program Products.
- FEMA Hazard Map Resources
- National Flood Insurance Program. Maps. Shortcut to Find a Map. If you want to find a city or town and do not have a specific street address or Map no., and need to search by state/county/city, click here.
- Guide To Flood Maps. How to read a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate (FIRM) Map.
- FEMA Map Store.
- GEOFRED (Geographic Federal Reserve Economic Data, Economic Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis). Vital statistics for the U.S. Available data for a wide-variety of topics.
- Fish & Wildlife Service. Maps and GIS data.
- National Wetlands Inventory
- National Wildlife Refuge System
- Fish & Wildlife Mapping Resources (US Fish & Wildlife Service). Includes government and non-governmental sites relating to wildlife and wildlife issues. Included in the F&W program are:
- GeoCommunicator Community-based portal for land management and land records of the Geography Network focused on communication, data, and activities of interest to anyone involved in or interested in the management of lands within the United States. (BLM--National Integrated Land System (NILS))
- Data.gov (formerly GeoData.gov; see note*). GIS portal, also known as the Geospatial One-Stop, that serves as a public gateway for improving access to geospatial information and data under the Geospatial One-Stop e-government initiative. Geospatial One-Stop is one of 24 e-government initiatives sponsored by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to enhance government efficiency and to improve citizen services. Geospatial One-Stop makes it easier, faster, and less expensive for all levels of government and the public to access geospatial information.
*Geospatial One-Stop (GOS, http://www.geodata.gov) is moving to Data.gov as of September 30, 2011. At that time all users will be redirected to data.gov to search for geospatial data.
- Geographyand Map Division, Library of Congress. Over 4.5 million maps, with 60,000 atlases and thousands of other items including journals, books and reference materials. Not much online material.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Geo-spatial and cartographic data of all sorts. NASA has many sub-agencies that produce maps, data, and remote-sensing imagery for a variety of topics, including Lunar and planetary missions.
- National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Maps and Geographic Materials page.
- National Land Cover Database (Multi-Resolution Land Characterization Consortium (MRLC)). This site is a multi-agency data collection. It provides national to local level GIS data and maps. "The primary objective of the MRLC NLCD is to provide the Nation with nationally complete, current, consistent, and public domain information on the Nation's land cover."
- National Library of Medicine TOXMAP. Geographic Information System (GIS) from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- Earth System Research Laboratory. "The Earth System Research Laboratory's mission is to observe and understand the Earth system and to develop products through a commitment to research that will advance the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) environmental information and services on global-to-local scales."
- Geospatial Data Gateway. GIS data.
- National Geodetic Survey. Manages the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), providing map data standards. Works also with GPS, aeronautical, and other mapping data.
- National Oceanographic Data Center
- National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Main source for current and archival climate data.
- National Coastal Assessment and Data Synthesis (CA&DS). Coastal geospatial data and maps, covering all US coasts (ocean and lake) and related land/shoreline.
- National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). Main source for current and archival geophysical data.
- Bathymetry, Topography, and Relief Data. A variety of data sets and maps. (Note: Bathymetry is depth below sea level; Topography is elevation above sea level; Relief is both.)
- Great Lakes Bathymetry (US-Canadian consortia project). Data sets for each lake, plus other data, including ArcIMS Map Interface to Bathymetric Contours.
- National Ocean Service Bathymetric & Fishing Maps. Scanned images in pdf. Also has ArcInfo interface.
- NOAA Fisheries GIS.
- National Weather Service (NWS). Current and historical weather and climate maps, GIS and other data. Also see additional government climate/weather sites for more detailed themes.
- Tsunami Research Center. All aspects; includes Data page.
- Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. GIS real-time data of WNY stream flows.
- Office of Coast Survey (OCS). Nautical chart products in all formats are located here.
- National Estuaries Program (EPA)
- National Coastal Condition Reports (EPA).
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Formerly NIMA: National Imagery and Mapping Agency
- National Park Service. Maps, histories, links to data for hundreds of locations, as well as for the entire NPS system.
- Soil Surveys (USDA).
- United States Geological Survey (USGS).
- USGS Publications Warehouse. Search for USGS maps, many of which are fully reproduced online. Includes Maps, Aerial and Satellite Imagery, Real-Time Data and more. Examples include:
- Hydrostructural Maps of the Death Valley Regional Flow System, Nevada and California.
- Cumulus Portal for Geospatial Data. Orthoimagery and GIS data.
- Maps, Products, and Publications. Starting point for all USGS maps and geo-spatial data.
- National Geologic Map Database. Search for published maps by location(s) using a criteria-driven system. Examples include:
- National Geospatial Program. Many of the government cartographic/geospatial data services are sponsored or coordinated through the NGP.
- National Map of the United States. Maps, GIS, and GIS data.
- Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center. Includes: Land Cover Institute program, National Elevation Dataset, to provide elevation data for the United States, and the Seamless Data Distribution System for domestic and international datasets. GIS with magnification to .3 meter resolution (in some cases).
- Topographic Maps
- Finding and Ordering Topographic Maps
- USGS Topographic Maps may also be downloaded at no charge for you to print.
- Viewing USGS Maps and Aerial Photo Images Online
- Topographic Map Symbols. Includes how to read topo maps.
- US Topo. The next generation of digital topographic maps from the USGS. Maps are available free on the Web. Each map quadrangle is constructed in GeoPDF® format allowing the user to turn individual data layers on or off.
- 125 Years of Topographic Mapping. History of the topo mapping program, including photographs, articles, and other descriptive materials.
- U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2372.
- Where’s the San Andreas Fault? Government publications provide access to maps.
- Mid-Continent Mapping Center
- National Geospatial Program Standards. Specifications and standards for mapping and GIS work.
- Pacific Seafloor Mapping Project. High resolution bathymetry and mapping.
- Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Internet Map Server and GIS Data. Maps, GIS data, other, for underwater and shoreline geology.
- Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico bathymetric GIS and mapping projects.
- Water Resources of the United States. Documents, maps, stream-flow data for each rivers and streams.
- Water Resources Data for New York State . Databases and data sets, plus news and current data on water (stream flow, precipitation, etc.) for each state. New York data.
- Water-Data Reports. Most publications located at this and other USGS sites can be located by subject, author, date, USGS series or publication series number by using the reports and thematic maps electronic Publications Warehouse. The Publications Warehouse will eventually take the place of this page.
- For additional New York State stream flow data, see: Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (GIS real-time data of WNY stream flows).
- Preliminary integrated geologic map databases for the United States: Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (Open-File Report (2005-1325)). Geological maps, data, and metadata for 5 states. Useful for GIS applications.
- To order USGS maps, visit the USGS Store with order information. Some products (e.g., Aerial Photography) are listed under specific type of material. Additional product information. Descriptions, help information on maps.
New York State
- New York State GIS Clearinghouse. Direct access to data, maps, and GIS materials (some materials require password, See Geosciences Librarian). Includes: 1:24,000 Digital Raster Quadrangles download site, allowing downloads of image files, metadata, and DRQs. Pick from map of the state or from quad index. Has links to 1:250,000 and 1:100,000 scale maps. Also includes:
- Who's Who for GIS in Erie County
- Who's Who for GIS in Niagara County
- New York State GIS Cooperative Project
- GIS Internet Mapping Gateway. GIS of NYS digital orthophotography.
- New York State Statewide Digital Orthoimagery Program. Shows status of imagery for above GIS.
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
- Mapping Gateway. All forms of DEC maps. Includes print, online, GIS, other. Selections include:
- Map Collection. Prepared maps on: Fishing, Recreation, Wildlife, Plants, State Forests and Lands, Waterbodies and Wetlands.
- Bird Conservation Areas
- Geodata Inventory
- Lake Contour Maps. View and download simple bathymetric maps of selected lakes, by county.
- State Forests
- Freshwater Wetlands Mapping
- Wildlife Management Areas
- Interactive Online Maps. Variety of maps and GIS showing different topics, such as:
- Geographic Information on New York's Wells and Mines
- Oil, Gas and Solution Salt Mining Information Center for Students and Teachers
- State Lands Interactive Mapper (SLIM). Internet mapping tool allows users to discover recreational features such as roads, trails, and parking lots on DEC owned lands, print maps, etc.
- New York State Breeding Bird Atlas (NY DEC). Links to topo maps for census blocks; sort by species, counter ID, behavior, other. Useful because you can access topo maps for any location in state. Choose Breeding Bird Atlas Data and Maps.
- Mineral Resources On-line Maps (Division of Mineral Resources). Geographic Information on New York's Wells and Mines. The Environmental Navigator is a database that includes more than 33,000 wells and 2,500 surface mines. Use standard GIS interface to search for specific locations, or zoom in to areas. Layers include a variety of variables.
- Mining in New York State.
- Mapping Gateway. All forms of DEC maps. Includes print, online, GIS, other. Selections include:
- New York State Department of Transportation--Mapping & GIS (MAGIS). The Mapping & GIS Section New York State's Base Mapping Agency (Note: changes in agency).
- New York State Railroads. Map.
- New York State Airports Map (DOT). Shows all public airports/airfields.
- New York State Interactive Mapping Gateway. Digital orthophotomaps of New York State.
- New York State and Local Government websites. Includes State level, as well as, Cities, Towns, and Villages, and other government agencies.
- County GIS Sites
New York State: Western New York Region
- Western New York Regional Knowledge Network (RKN). Links to local county, municipal, and other government sites, schools, hospitals, and many other sources. Maps are located throughout the network by topic. Maps are used throughout this system, along with data sets. Select a topic to begin.
- Western New York Travel Guide. A tourist and travel site of the 17 counties of western New York. Has maps and other geographic data.
- Erie County Official Sources.
- Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District. The county office of the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. Source of reports, USGS topographic maps, and links to related data.
- Soil Survey of Erie County, New York / United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service ; in cooperation with the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. [Washington, D.C.?] : The Service, 1986. These soil surveys are available in print in the following UB locations:
- LOCKWOOD LIBRARY / S591 .A22 N.Y. Erie
- LOCKWOOD LIBRARY / SEL Reference S591 .A22 N.Y. Erie
- ARCHITECTURE PLANNING LIBRARY / Book Collection: S599.N7 S55 1986
- ARCHITECTURE PLANNING LIBRARY / Reserve: S599.N7 S55 1986.
- See also: USDA Web Soil Survey
- Great Lakes Region: Maps and GIS. Great Lakes Information Network.
- Niagara River/Lake Erie WI/PWL (NYS-DEC). The most recent Niagara River/Lake Erie Basin Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List Report was issued in September 2005. This report includes an overall evaluation of water quality in the Niagara River/Lake Erie Basin, as well as assessments for specific waterbody segments in the basin. See also: Drainage Basins of New York for data on other watersheds.
- Buffalo Creeks (NOAA-Great Lakes River Basins). Maps show creek/river basins. Includes:
- Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. GIS real-time data of WNY stream flows.
New York State: Western New York Region: Counties
New York State: Western New York Region: Cities and Towns
- Amherst GIS (Town website) Uses the Map Machine. Includes maps for Williamsville, NY.
- Buffalo. City website and related links.
- Other towns and villages in WNY. Links to GIS and other maps/data.
- State & Local Governments. Links to additional government agencies, some with links to map products.
- GRASS - Geographic Resources Analysis Support System. (Army Corps of Engineers)
- Montana Natural Resource Information System
- Natural Resources Canada. Main site for cartographic and geo-spatial data (similar to the USGS). Natural Resources Canada features research and policy initiatives in forestry, Earth sciences, energy, and minerals and metals. Departments and thematic divistions of NRC provide maps and data. Some of these are:
- Atlas of Canada. Maps, geographical features data, GIS data sets, outline maps, and more. Also has archive of the first five editions of the National Atlas of Canada.
- Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS/NRC). All forms of remote-sensing data (satellite and radar imaging). Selected links incllude:
- Centre for Topographic Information. Canada's Topographic Map Service, similar to the USGS.
- Earth Sciences Mapping.
- Geological Survey of Canada
- Geoscience Data Repository is a collection of geoscience data, that can be viewed and downloaded, free of charge.
- Geomatics Canada
- Toporama. Select topo sections and zoom in or download images. Or use: GeoGratis.
- Kids Site. Offers NRC data in kid-friendly format.
- GeoBase Portal for no fee access to quality Canadian government (and other) geospatial data.
- Parks Canada
- Canadian Atlas (Canadian Geographic). Not a government site but very good for Canadian data (plus maps from other parts of the World). More maps/data for Canada at the CG Mapping page.
- City of Toronto Maps. Official city website. Variety of maps, including aerial photos, wards, population, cadastral, and Toronto Neighbourhoods Map.
- Foreign Countries and Intergovernmental Organizations. Links to a variety of international government agencies.
- European Union. Maps used with various sections of the site. Search for specific maps using their search engine. Also try a general search for MAP or MAPS, or select the sitemap link to maps (brings up only a selection of all maps).
- EU at a Glance. Begins with map of the EU. Click on a country and then on province, department, or state within country for maps.
- Census of India. Includes maps, statistical data, other materials:
- North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Maps available in site, and also on Maps page.
- United Nations Cartographic Department Map Collection. Excellent source for maps of many countries and regions of the World. Emphasis on maps for mission-specific countries.
- United Nations Atlas of the Oceans. Maps, data, and resources relating to all oceans and related
- Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Dept. of the. Maps, Geographic tips and tools.
- Mines and Petroleum (Dept) Interactive Geological Map. GIS showing a wide-array of geological, mining, and related data. Search other maps on the WA gov't site.
- Agriculture and Food (Dept) Geographic Information Services.