Old Dominion University Libraries

GIS in Perry Library
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Geographic Information System (GIS)

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a set of technological tools and data resources that enable the analysis of information based on geographic location. A GIS extends the functionality of a data set through the unique capabilities of mapping for visualizing and understanding information. While often associated with geography and engineering disciplines, GIS technology is increasingly being used in many fields including business/marketing, public administration, criminal justice and health sciences.

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Available GIS Datasets

A number of value-added GIS resources (see below) from ESRI and other sources are available, including GIS compatible data for the 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 censuses from Geolytics.

Data sets are available from federal government web sites, and library staff can assist in acquiring data from local and state governments. We also subscribe to ICPSR -- Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research which provides access to a vast archive of social science data, much of it geographically-referenced.

In addition, a multitude of GIS data is freely available on the Internet.

Value-added Data Sets and Other Resources (ask at the Circulation Services Desk on the 2nd floor):

  • ESRI Data & Maps (2002)
    7 CDs of basic data and boundary files covering the world

  • Geolytics 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010 Census
    Comprehensive census data available in easy GIS compatible formats

  • Global GIS Database Series (US Geological Survey)
    USGS, and other data sources, with ESRI, has developed a GIS of the world at a nominal scale of 1:1 million intended to be used as regional- scale reference and analytical tool. Separate CDs are currently available for Africa, South Asia, South Pacific and Central and South America

  • Historical County Boundary Files
    Retrospective county boundary files for the United States (1790-present)

  • Norfolk, VA datasets on CD: 2008 Planimetric Data, Parcel Data, Orthophotos; 2007 Centerlines; 2006 Color Orthophotos
  • SPOT imagery-Virginia Coverage
    Virginia coverage 4 CDs Panchromatic, 10 meter resolution; Imagery dates: 1998-2001
  • Stat/Transfer
    Data format conversion utility
  • Sure!MAPS
    Sure!MAPS RASTER is a series of seamlessly mosaiced, full color, georeferenced, United States Geological Survey topographic raster maps. The library currently offers Sure!MAPS for Norfolk City; Virginia Beach City; Portsmouth City; Chesapeake City; Suffolk City; Hampton City; Newport News City; Northhampton County; and Accomack County.
  • U.S. Street Database
    Includes street information for the entire United States
  • Virginia. Dept. of Transportation Network level basemap
    Data to make maps for the whole state and for the counties of Virginia, focusing on highways