What is the GIS Data Repository?
The University of Maryland’s GIS Data Repository was created in fall 2010 in an effort to provide easier access to some of the geospatial data in our collection that is on CDs. By bringing together all of our geospatial data or records about it, the entire collection will be much easier to search comprehensively.
When licensing allows, you can download the data directly; otherwise, we still want you to know that it’s in the collection and can be used on site at McKeldin Library.
What is a set and what is a layer?
Data sets are compilations of data layers, often housed together on a CD. Layers are individual spatial data representations. For example, the data set Baltimore City GIS Data includes multiple layers such as a boundary layer, a zoning layer, and a streets layer. Typically when searching for GIS data you will be looking for a layer, but you might not know which data set would contain that layer.
Is this all the GIS data you’ve got?
The GIS Data Repository does not yet contain all the data in our collection! We will be adding data as quickly as possible, but you can still search the standard library catalog as well. Also, you may want to look at our guide to finding GIS data.
How do I download data?
To download data, click on the download icon . You may be prompted to authenticate, using your University of Maryland directory ID and password. GIS layers in the form of shapefiles will consist of multiple files, so after downloading you will need to unzip them before using in a GIS.
How do I view my downloaded data?
You will need to have GIS software to view the data. The University of Maryland has a campus site license for ESRI’s ArcGIS software, which is available on two workstations in the computer lab on the fourth floor of McKeldin Library. A lighter weight, free version of the software, ArcExlorer, is free to download and is found on all library computers.
Why can’t I download everything?
When data is in the public domain, it can be freely downloaded. For data that is restricted by licensing, you will need to authenticate as a UM community member before downloading. Some data is further restricted, and may need to be used on site. Important: Whenever using any geospatial data, you should be aware of its source and any possible licensing or copyright restrictions, and be sure to provide proper citation.
I couldn’t find the data I need here—what should I do?
Take a look at our guide to finding GIS data, or contact the GIS Librarian.
I have created my own GIS data – can it be added to the GIS Data Catalog?
We would be happy to add GIS data created by members of the UM community to the repository. Please contact the GIS Librarian for further details.
How can I learn more about GIS?
The UM Libraries offer introductory GIS workshops, and we also offer Virtual Campus online courses through ESRI. For more information, see our website: http://www.lib.umd.edu/GOV/geospatial.html
The concept and structure of the GIS Data Catalog is very much inspired by the University of North Carolina’s DataFinder—we thank them for sharing their knowledge!
The database field structure and on-site programming were done at the University of Maryland in a joint effort by the GIS Librarian and the Department of Technical Services. The GIS Data Repository uses the Ektron CMS400.Net content management system for web delivery. Details about the licensing requirements for GIS data sets are entered in the University of Maryland’s in-house electronic resources licensing database. The search by category feature uses the topic categories from ISO Standard 19115 (Geographic information – metadata), with the punctuation standardized for easier readability.
Please feel free to contact the GIS Librarian for more specifics if needed.