Whether you’re new to GIS or are a seasoned user, do you ever find yourself wondering what kind of projects you could dabble in, if only you had more data? Data of all kinds? While “pretend” data certainly has its value in providing good practice in learning the ins and outs of GIS tools, the truth is there is nothing more powerful than working with real data–that which you know has actual significance. As such, one relatively new source of government data available to the public and worth exploring is data.gov. With close to 105,000 datasets published to the site, you’ll find a variety of geospatial data in a variety of formats: JSON, shapefiles, spreadsheets, and others. Alternatively, you could also start researching major U.S. cities like New York. You’ll be surprised at the volume and quality of spatial data this powerhouse has compiled and published. And, just in case you haven’t accessed the ESRI Basemaps that are available through both ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Desktop (after you sign in to your ArcGIS Online account), you should definitely check these out.

esrigovData
 

Happy mapping,

EP