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In order to use GIS, you will first need to feed data into your GIS software/tool in order to start creating visualisations and performing analyses based on your data. Any type of data can be used, as long as there is some kind of location component such as an address or postal code, for example.
As first step, it is necessary to find and download data that can be added to your base map. This page lists some sources by category, with a focus on geospatial data. For other types of themed data, refer to Research Guides.
Research Guides by Subject
Geospatial Data & Maps
- Natural Earth - publicly available map datasets including vector and raster data
- Global Administrative Areas (GADM) - Includes both maps and spatial data for download
- RODA - Registry of Open Data on Amazon Web Service has satellite images and aerial photos
- WorldPop - Open access population and demographic data which includes factors such as age, gender and births
- UNEP's Global Resource Information Database - Sioux Falls Clearinghouse includes spatial data on population density
- GeoCommons - An archive of publicly uploaded and contributed data, many of which are open data from government sites