Occasionally I am asked about my favourite (and most useful) sources of publicly available online data. Here are some of the ones I’ve used and can recommend:
- If you are working in Canada, the Geological Survey of Canada’s Geoscience Data Repository is a great source for regional and survey scale datasets. It includes extensive Aeromagnetic and Electromagnetic data with simple instructions for viewing and downloading the data using a mapping application that is based on Geosoft DAP technology.
- Many global scientific and government organization host data online, or you can order it (sometimes for a small processing fee). A few that I have used include: Geoscience Australia - this site has many geophysical and geological datasets; USGS EROS Center - links to several data discovery tools; NOAA National Geophysical Data Center - Data by Discipline links to some great resources; and USGS LP DAAC - links to resources for ASTER data.
- Provincial and state geoscience surveys are also a great source of geoscientific data. I recently attained a copy of New South Wales’ Explorers Directory 2012 with GIS data in Esri and MapInfo formats and a great selection of imagery. For cultural and geographic data, the datasets provided with Esri and MapInfo applications are a good start. In the US, data.gov has a growing collection of spatial data in many formats.
- Compilations are often sponsored by a group of government and educational groups to make data publicly available and easily accessible, including numerous programs like Geomagnetism, a NOAA/CIRES project; OneGeology, an international effort to collect geological data at 1:1 million scale; and ASTER GDEM, a joint NASA JPL program to collect high resolution ASTER data for the world.
I’ve posted on the Geosoft DAP Server before. The SRTM data on the Geosoft DAP Server is very handy, and there are some other large, low-res datasets available here as well. Datasets can be windowed and reprojected and reformatted as needed with very little effort.
I hope you find this list helpful. I’d be interested in hearing about some of your favourites!