Portions of this page and some of its sub-pages were originally developed for the Teaching with GeoPads module on the Integrating Research and Education website. The pages have been reused and updated with permission.
Thematic DataThematic data consists of a set of related features that are included within a single data subset. In other words, data of a common theme is generally grouped and organized within a single file structure. Within a drafting or GIS program, thematic data are grouped within a single layer (e.g., geologic units, state boundaries, soil class, etc.). A thematic map is designed to convey information about a single topic or theme, such as national highway map or a geologic map. The Thematic Data page will take you to a list of resources for digital thematic data.
Topographic DataTopographic data come in many digital forms and file formats. The Topographic Data page will take you to a list of online digital resources and provide additional information on the range of available formats.
Data Sources for Individual States
Finding spatially referenced data for individual states can be a challenge. The character and accessibility of online data varies enormously from state to state. Some states have a a central clearing house for all data; in other states, different types of data are housed on different sites. Our listing of data sources for individual states provides state-by-state links to all of the major online data sources for each state.