Search free public GIS maps, including GIS mapping search, geographic information systems, GIS services, and GIS databases.
What are GIS Maps?
GIS maps are the best way to relay spatial and geographic information. Geographic information system (GIS) refers to the field of data management regarding spatial locations. The U.S. Government and private companies produce these maps. Since the advent of satellite imaging technology, GIS mapping has become an essential everyday service, and non-sensitive governmental GIS databases are accessible by the general public. Many federal, state and municipal offices use these maps, as do many private businesses. They're used for accurate topographical, structural, hydrographical, historical and population mapping. Agencies like the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and Department of Defense (DoD) all rely on GIS mapping. Initiatives like geoplatform.gov and the National Map Program make this information available to the public.
GIS Maps help with
- Ecological assessment. GIS mapping technology allows agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DFW to monitor development, assess droughts, and trace run-off through hydrological maps of watersheds.
- Climate mapping. The National Weather Service (NWS) is another agency that depends on GIS mapping technology to provide important updates. Experts record and map temperatures, rainfall and seasonal variations for the purpose of making scientific comparisons over time.
- Property management. Before potential developers purchase land, they can look to GIS maps for information regarding zoning, floodplains, soil composition and more.
- Municipal boundaries, addresses, and structures. GIS mapping databases show roads, addresses, air traffic, cities, railroads and other divisions of space.
- National security. GIS mapping technology and data provides life-saving intelligence. Although the primary focus of most GIS providers is domestic and environmental, overseas mapping and surveillance are common for security and protection purposes.
Are there different types of GIS Maps?
Yes, the U.S. Government publishes many types of high-quality GIS data online. You can find topography, hydrology, population and other types of maps as well.