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GEO 220: Finding GIS Data

What's in this Guide?

This guide provides links to recommended data sources for your GEO200 mapping projects as well as some things to think about as you use the data.

Use the tabs at left to navigate through the pages of this guide.

  • Data Considerations: Who creates the data, data limitations and evaluating the accuracy of your data.
  • Websites by Geography: National, Pennsylvania, and international data websites.
  • Websites by Subject: Sites for climate, geology, environmental, education, crime, health, economic data and more.

map of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

What is GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) "integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information." (ESRI)

What is GIS used for? There are many applications, spanning a wide variety of disciplines. Some examples include:

In the boxes below, you will read about  who creates it, its limitations, and how to evaluate data -- all considerations as you try to find statistics and data to support your research project.

As you dig in, it can help to start with a research question and a geographic focus. For example, "How do inoculation rates impact influenza rates in Pennsylvania?"