Geospatial Historian

The Geospatial Historian is “a tutorial-based open access textbook for historical scholars and digital humanists designed to teach practical digital mapping and GIS skills that are immediately useful to real research needs.” Under Lessons, you will find two series of GIS tutorials geared towards historical analysis and applications. The first series, which uses open-source software, is comprised of four lessons that the project team created for the Programming Historian. The second series contains five lessons that teach mapping, georeferencing, and other applications using ArcGIS. The site also offers a helpful list of resources for Finding Spatial Data, organized by data type and featuring data from around the world. Check it out!



OpenTopography provides high-quality geographic data relating to earth science as well as a platform for researchers to share their own data. Based at the University of California, San Diego, OpenTopography is an ambitious project that “facilitates community access to high-resolution, Earth science-oriented, topography data, and related tools and resources,” and is funded through the National Science Foundation.

You can search or browse the project’s datasets via an interactive data map and a data catalog, both found under Data. Most of these datasets are available in Lidar point cloud format, and many are also available in other formats, such as raster or Google Earth.  Check it out!


California Releases Interactive Public Geoportal

California has adopted a massive, interactive online database of location-based government data that includes over 1200 publicly available data sets from 25 state entities.

The California State Geoportal collects geospatial data from government agencies including housing, water, transportation and health information. The data is compatible with geolocation software and is designed to be shared, layered onto maps and analyzed.

The portal was designed by ESRI.  Check it out!