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Finding and Using GIS Data

The AGS Library's Guide to Finding GIS data and working with it for your specific project needs



EPA Environmental Dataset Gateway


Homepage: For the EPA's ArcGIS hub, see For the complete catalog, including metadata data, see

About: This is the official open data catalog for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It includes the "Clip & Ship" ArcGIS hub, which contains limited geospatial datasets, and the more extensive Environmental Data Gateway, which also contains metadata about datasets. Data is free to download.

Data available: Includes shapefile, file geodatabase, GeoJSON, KML, XML (for metadata) and spreadsheet. Data can also be loaded directly into ArcGIS Online for viewing and analysis.

Topics include (but not limited to): air quality, superfund sites, temperature, precipitation, and environmental justice.


How to get GIS data

In the "Clip & Ship" ArcGIS Hub:

1. Type keywords in the search bar on the left. Alternatively, click "Browse Data" on the right.

2. If necessary, use the filters in the left side column of the results page to narrow down your search.

3. After selecting your desired dataset, click the "Download" icon in the column to the left of the map. Choose your desired format from the list (the number of formats varies depending on the dataset).

In the Environmental Dataset Gateway:

1. Type keywords in the search bar on the top of the page. Alternatively, click "Browse the EDG" on the right.

  • You can also select one of the boxes beneath the search bar. There are "featured data products", "popular datasets", and "regional datasets".

2. Depending on the dataset, there are different ways to view/download the data.

  • Typically, when a dataset is selected, you are brought to its metadata page. Here, you must click the link next to "Resource Link:" to access either its detail page or its directory page. This again depends on the dataset. From here, you can either download the file or, if it is a map service, view it in a GIS, such as ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Pro by clicking the respective link.


The Contents of Finding and Using GIS Data may be reused with attribution for Non-Commercial purposes.

Finding and Using GIS Data by Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License