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GIS & Mapping

This guide contains information about the GIS and Mapping services at Temple University Libraries.

Getting started

Geospatial data consists of location (graphical) and attribute information (the object characteristics).

GIS allows you to combine different types and sources of data to visualize and analyze them in one place. 

There are two general types of geospatial data: vector and raster.


vectordataVector data is a representation of objects in the surface of the earth using points, lines or polygons. For example, trees can be represented by points, rivers represented by lines and lakes represented by polygons. Each point, line or polygon will be associated with a table of attributes that contains information on its non-spatial characteristics, such as name, height, depth.






RasterDataRaster data is represented by a regular grid formed by columns and rows (pixels) that store numerical information related with the objects. The most common form of raster data are satellite images but it can come from other sources too. The size of the pixels determines the raster's resolution. A smaller size pixel will represent objects with a higher definition but will require a bigger storage space.







This guide will help you find vector and raster data for the city of Philadelphia, the State of Pennsylvania, the United States, and other countries. 

Philadelphia (Local)

OpenDataPhilly is a catalog of open data in the Philadelphia region. In addition to being the official open data repository for the City, it includes data sets from many organizations in the region.

Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA) is Pennsylvania's official public access open geospatial data portal.

PHLmaps is the City of Philadelphia's enterprise ArcGIS Online website and serves as the central platform for many of Philadelphia's geospatial content, maps and applications.

The Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network (GPGN) is a pilot project of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) to develop a web-based repository of geographically organized historical information about Philadelphia, its geography, its buildings, and its people.

DVRPC provides valuable data to the region's planners, policy makers, developers, and the public. Orthoimagery and traditional aerial imagery from as early as 1959 is available, as are traffic counts, detailed demographic analyses, survey results, and other GIS datasets, accessible through our GIS Data Portal.


Open GIS Data Access for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA) is Pennsylvania's official public access  open geospatial data portal.

This site provides access to all of our published GIS data that you can map, style, chart, download or share. Local roads, crash data and more.

This site provides access to all of our published GIS data, which includes over 130 datasets relative to state parks, state forests, geology, recreational opportunities and more.


United States (Other States and National Level)

The U.S. Government’s open data, which brings together access, search, and browse across U.S. government agencies

The Geospatial Platform is a cross-agency collaborative effort and Shared Service that embodies the principles and spirit of Open Government, emphasizing government-to-citizen communication, accountability, and transparency

GIS mapping files contain geographical information, which are spatial data encoded into a file format. TIGER stands for the Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system and represents the U.S. Census Bureau's geographic spatial data

Data and maps on soils, geology, water, ecosystems, energy, minerals, hazards and more. Includes downloadable vector and raster formats.

The Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG) provides access to a map library of over 100 high resolution vector and raster layers in the Geospatial Data Warehouse. It is the One Stop Source for environmental and natural resources data, at any time, from anywhere, to anyone.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Here you’ll find education data sets, data tools, reports, educator’s practice guides, summaries of completed and in-progress research and evaluation projects, videos, infographics, and more

NCI GIS Portal is a web-based station for interactive mapping and visualization of cancer related geo-spatial data. The portal combines Geographic Information Science (GIS) principles and tools to harmonize relatively large and multi-dimensional datasets, including population-based cancer statistics and behavioral, environmental, clinical, socioeconomic, and policy data

The Digital Coast was developed to meet the unique needs of the coastal management community. The site contains visualization tools, predictive tools, and tools that make data easier to find and use

Download and explore several categories of National Park Service Data, as well as featured NPS Maps

FEMA GIS supports the emergency management community with world-class geospatial information, services, and technologies to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate against all hazards

The HUD-eGIS Storefront provides a one-stop shop where users can search for and discover HUD's geospatial datasets, web-based mapping tools, and application programming interfaces

The Branch of Geospatial Support, which is under the Office of Trust Services, Division of Land Titles and Records, provides Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, training, and system support for the management of natural resources on Indian lands

This page contains web services that follow the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards for web services. Three standards are supported - Web Mapping Services (WMS), Web Feature Services (WFS) and Web Coverage Services (WCS)

Browse geospatial data that is part of the BTS National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD) product. NTAD is a set of nationwide geographic databases of public spatial information for transportation facilities and networks; flows of people, goods, vehicles, and craft over the transportation networks; and social, economic, and environmental conditions that affect or are affected by the transportation networks

The Environmental Dataset Gateway (EDG) provides a one-stop to discover and access EPA's Open Data resources. The EDG contains metadata records contributed by EPA Regions, Program Offices, and Research Laboratories that links to geospatial and non-geospatial resources (e.g., data, Web services, or applications)


International Spatial Data

A collaborative catalog of open geodata websites around the world.

Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software

Free spatial data for the whole world that you can use in DIVA-GIS or other programs. DIVA-GIS is a free computer program for mapping and geographic data analysis.

Global Map is fundamental digital geospatial information covering the whole land of the globe. It was an effort central to the Global Mapping Project. Global Map data were developed under the cooperation of National Geospatial Information Authorities (NGIAs) of respective countries and regions

GeoNetwork is a catalog application to manage spatially referenced resources. It provides powerful metadata editing and search functions as well as an interactive web map viewer. It is currently used in numerous Spatial Data Infrastructure initiatives across the world

This page contains a categorized list of links to over 500 sites providing freely available geographic datasets - all ready for loading into a Geographic Information System