GIS Maps

Search free public GIS maps, including GIS mapping search, geographic information systems, GIS services, and GIS databases.

What are GIS Maps?

GIS Maps are cartographic tools to relay spatial and geographic information. GIS stands for Geographic Information System, the field of data management that charts spatial locations. GIS Maps are produced by the U.S. government and private companies. Because GIS mapping technology is so versatile, there are many different types of GIS Maps that contain a wide range of information. GIS Maps can transmit topographic, structural, hydrographic, historical, and population data, among other types of information.

GIS Maps can be used for many purposes. They show municipal boundaries, addresses, and structures, making them key sources of information for property developers and local governments. GIS mapping databases can also include roads, air traffic, railroads, and other important modes of transportation that divide the land. Property developers or buyers may also use GIS maps to understand zoning, floodplains, and soil composition, allowing them to evaluate potential purchases or development areas.

The advent of satellite imaging technology has made GIS mapping an essential tool for government. Many federal, state, and local offices rely on these maps, and different government agencies may produce their own specialized GIS Maps to serve their needs. Agencies like the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and the Department of Defense (DoD) all rely on GIS mapping.

GIS mapping technology allows for detailed ecological and climate mapping. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can use these maps to monitor development, assess droughts, and trace run-off on hydrological maps of watersheds. The National Weather Service (NWS) depends on GIS Maps to chart changing temperatures, rainfall, and seasonal variations to understand the climate.

National security also depends on GIS mapping technology and data. These maps provide valuable intelligence information, largely geared toward domestic and environmental areas. Overseas mapping and surveillance may also use GIS technology for security and protection purposes. These maps are often classified, but non-sensitive governmental GIS databases are open to the general public.