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Arc GIS Tutorial

Where to find GIS Data and Resources:

Most of the GIS data you are looking for may already be available from the ESRI Data and Maps DVD in
the back of the Mastering ArcGIS textbook.
If not, there are many websites you can go to download GIS data.
NYS Geographic Informational Systems Clearinghouse
Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository
Federal and New York State Data
USGS National Map Viewer
GIS Data Depot
ArcGIS Online
GIS data for specific states:
Massachusetts GIS Data
Connecticut GIS Data

Vermont GIS Data
International Data Sets:
UNEP/GRID-Sioux Falls Clearinghouse

How to download GIS Data:

Although you will download data from various websites and regions this is the basic format you
will follow to download any GIS data.
1. Type in the GIS Data website of your choice in web browser ( ex:
2. Select the region of your interest and click go. (ex: Albany)
3. Click on Search Data Sets in Albany .

4. In the Sector Search Category Select Search All Sectors and select the theme that you are
interested in.
5. The next page will be a complete list of GIS data sets. Select the data set of your interest and
click the blue data set details in the lower left corner of the box.
6. Look over the description of the data set to make sure it will be helpful to your GIS work.
7. In the metadata column click on the blue metadata link and the information about this GIS data
is available. You must cite every GIS data that you use in the proper format. In this case, the
GIS data is cited like an FTP because it was downloaded from a wesite. Details for citation are
located on p 24 of your text.
8. To begin download, click on the blue link under Data Set Name.

9. Click open in the file download box. Allow the website to open the web content.
10. In the WinZip window select Use Evaluation Version.
11. The next window will show you all the files you are about the download.

12. Select the Extract button on the upper bar of the window.
13. Save the file in C:\ Temp and then select Extract.
14. The file should be successfully downloaded now.
Now you are ready to add the data to Arc GIS
15. Open Arc GIS. Click on the yellow button with the black cross located on the toolbar.
16. Navigate to the C:\Temp folder and find the files you just downloaded.
17. Select the file and choose Add.