Today’s post comes to us from Joseph Elfelt from MappingSupport.com.
As a software developer in the field of online maps I am aware that the federal government operates various GIS servers with open data. Anyone with the right tech savvy can access that data. No login credentials are required.
Problem: Up until now there has not been a master list of the internet addresses for all ‘publicfacing’ federal GIS servers. No, you will not find this information on https://www.data.gov/.
Solution: This report is a first step at fixing this problem. The GIS server addresses listed below were found with simple Google searches.
Want to help? If you know of a federal GIS server that is not already listed below and that includes at least some open data (i.e. no login required) please send me an email via the contact link posted above.
Caution: Some of the GIS data on these servers will be draft and/or temporary. Also data layers are sometimes renumbered with little to no warning. This will break any maps that are based on the former layer numbers. Another common problem is the use of gibberish names to identify data folders/layers/attributes combined with the lack of metadata to translate that gibberish into something useful. And when you want to ask a question about the data usually the GIS server lacks any contact information.
New to GIS? If you scroll down the list you will find links for MapServer layers with data for some national parks and other areas managed by the National Park Service. You might enjoy looking at some of this data. Perhaps you have visited one of these places or would like to go.