Links to Digital Mapping Resources

Get fGIS here



There is a wealth of free data available on the Internet, but be realistic about what you try to download. If you have an ordinary analog dial-up modem, you will be less frustrated by using small data sets. For example, Digital Line Graph (DLG) files showing roads and streams or 30-meter resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEM) are often only 200-300KB in size, which are easy to download. Single TerraServer aerial photos will generally load well with a standard modem link. USGS topographic maps (DRG files) are about 2MB in size. Landsat images and Space Shuttle Radar DEM files are typically 30MB and larger, requiring a broadband connection. In addition to free data, many of the following sources offer inexpensive commercial data.


  • Need the latitude/longitude of a location to begin your data search? Check here:


  • TerraServer-USA® - Aerial Photos and Topographic Maps. HINT: Use the program USAPhotoMaps to simplify downloads from TerraServer.
  • USDA GeoSpatial Data Gateway - Very nice download site that will batch the requested GIS data files by county or US state. Includes DRG, DEM, soils, TIGER vector layers, climate data, LULC, ortho imagery and more.
  • USGS Seamless Data Distribution Center - Uses a Java map-based interface for selecting free, seamless National Elevation Data (NED), Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), and National Land Cover Data (NLCD). Rather than downloading files piecemeal, you outline the area where you want coverage and the EROS Data Center generates a custom file. This source is ideal if you have a broadband Internet connection.
  • USGS Geographic Data Download - EROS Data Center (DEM, DLG, NED shaded relief and other data). Parts of this and the following site offer text-based File Transfer Protocol (FTP) downloads that are more modem-friendly. You can use Windows Explorer procedures to copy a file on an FTP site and then paste it to a location on your hard drive. An alternative method is to use an FTP program (such as WS_FTP-LE) to copy files.
  • USGS FTP Download Site for free DLG Data
  • USGS One Degree (30-meter resolution) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data - Click the map that appears to locate and download data.
  • MapMart® - USGS partner offering free 10-meter and 30-meter resolution DEM data (MapMart has a superb graphical, map-based interface for finding data. For free data, proceed through the ordering process to the final download page.)
  • ATDI® - a USGS partner offering free Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data
  • GeoCommunity™ - Free Digital Line Graph (DLG) and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data (Note: If you have a broadband Internet connection, be aware that GeoCommunity downloads are limited to about 5KB per second unless you purchase a premium account.)
  • Global Change Master Directory - NASA
  • webGIS - A source of Digital Elevation Models (DEM), Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) and Digital Line Graph (DLG) shapefile data in the Geographic and UTM (mostly NAD27) coordinate systems.

Midwest State GIS Data Download Sites






Map Galleries

Other Useful Sites

Top of Page About


Commercial logos or trademarks shown on the ForestPal web site appear only to illustrate the products. The logos and trademarks are the property of the respective companies.


- Copyright © 2007-2011 -
Web Statistics