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World Geography: Web

A guide to the best resources concerning various aspects of world geography.

Great Geography Websites

  • American Fact Finder (US Census Bureau)
    "The Census Bureau conducts nearly one hundred surveys and censuses every year. By law, no one is permitted to reveal information from these censuses and surveys that could identify any person, household, or business. Data from the following surveys and censuses are available in American FactFinder:" Decennial Census, American Community Survey, Puerto Rico Community Survey, Economic Census, Population Estimates Program, and more. (June 2012)
  • Atlas of Canada, The
    A collection of maps of Canada including topographical, societal, climate, historical and many more. (June 2012)
  • BBC Country Profiles
    "Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio and video clips from BBC archives, " (June 2012).
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
    "The Bureau of Justice Statistics was first established on December 27, 1979 under the Justice Systems Improvement Act of 1979, Public Law 96-157 (the 1979 Amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Public Law 90-351)," to "collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. These data are critical to federal, state, and local policymakers in combating crime and ensuring that justice is both efficient and evenhanded," (June 2012).
  • Bureau of Land Statistics (BLS)
    "The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant," (June 2012).
  • Census Scope
    "CensusScope is an easy-to-use tool for investigating U.S. demographic trends, brought to you by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) at the University of Michigan. With eye-catching graphics and exportable trend data, CensusScope is designed for both generalists and specialists." (June 2012)
  • Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)
    "The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) is a center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University. CIESIN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences, and specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment" (June 2012).
  • CIA World Factbook
    "The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map." (June 2012)
  • Country Guides
    An interactive world map that allows users to search for general information about all the countries in the world.
  • Country Links
    This is a collection of links to various organizations and government offices for many of the world's countries.
  • Country Studies
    The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.
  • David Rumsey Map Collection
    The David Rumsey Map Collection was started over 25 years ago and contains more than 150,000 maps. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, although it also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children's, and manuscript maps. Items range in date from about 1700 to 1950s. (June 2012)
  • Earth Science World
    ES World provides access to an image bank as well as an "Interactive Geological Time Scale".
  • Economist Topics
    A collection of links that are searchable related to various countries.
  • Ethnologue
    "An encyclopedic reference work cataloging all of the world’s 6,909 known living languages." (June 2012)
  • EuroStat
    "Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions." (June 2012)
  • GeoCommons
    "GeoCommons is the public community of GeoIQ users who are building an open repository of data and maps for the world. The GeoIQ platform includes a large number of features that empower you to easily access, visualize and analyze your data. We've highlighted just a few of these features below. You can watch any of our videos to learn more, or just sign up for free to get started building your own maps," (June 2012).
  • GeoGratis (Canada)
    GeoGratis is a portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data at no cost and without restrictions via your Web browser. (June 2012)
  • GeoHive
    "Welcome to GeoHive, a site with all kinds of statistics. The main component is population statistics: historical, projections, cities, agglomerations, etc. But also geopolitical data like the administrative divisions of countries (provinces, counties and such) of all nations of this world. In addition to these, some economical statistics and an up-to-date list of all known national statistical agencies." (June 2012)
  • Global Change Master Directory (GCMD)
    "The GCMD holds more than 25,000 Earth science data set and service descriptions, which cover subject areas within the Earth and environmental sciences. The project mission is to assist researchers, policy makers, and the public in the discovery of and access to data, related services, and ancillary information (which includes descriptions of instruments and platforms) relevant to global change and Earth science research" (June 2012).
  • Historical Census Browser
    Examine U.S. census data from 1790-1960 provide by the University of Virginia.
  • Human Development Reports (HDR)
    "The mission of the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) is to advance human development. The goal is to contribute towards the expansion of opportunities, choice and freedom. The office works towards this goal by promoting innovative new ideas, advocating practical policy changes, and constructively challenging policies and approaches that constrain human development. The office works with others to achieve change through writing and research, data analysis and presentation, support to national and regional analysis and outreach and advocacy work," (June 2012).
  • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series International (IPUMS-I)
    "IPUMS-International is an effort to inventory, preserve, harmonize, and disseminate census microdata from around the world. The project has collected the world's largest archive of publicly available census samples. The data are coded and documented consistently across countries and over time to facillitate comparative research. IPUMS-International makes these data available to qualified researchers free of charge through a web dissemination system" (June 2012).
  • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series USA (IPUMS-USA)
    "IPUMS-USA is a project dedicated to collecting and distributing United States census data. Its goals are to: collect and preserve data and documentation, harmonize data, disseminate the data absolutely free" (June 2012).
  • Internet Public Library (IPL) Social Sciences & Geography Collection
    The IPL provides over 90 links to various websites related to social sciences, government data, and geography.
  • Mapquest
    Maps of local areas throughout the world including local traffic, local guides, and also provides printing and embedding into websites.
  • MapServer by MyTopo
    MapServer provides access to topographical maps of local areas. Users may print and/or save the maps they create.
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) Map
    MLA has analyzed the worlds languages and created a map demonstrating were particular languages are spoken.
  • NASA Earth
  • National Atlas of the United States of America
    A collection of maps of America. The site allows for users to create and print their own maps.
  • National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS)
    "The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2010," (June 2012).
  • National Map Viewer (USGS)
    An interactive map of the US that allows for certain amounts of customization of views, resources, transportation and more.
  • National Map: Historical Topographic Map Collection
    For more than 125 years, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps have accurately portrayed the complex geography of the Nation. The USGS is the largest producer of printed topographic maps, and, prior to 2009, USGS topographic maps were created using traditional cartographic methods and printed using the lithographic printing process. Because historical maps are stored in a limited number of collections and are not readily available, the USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) is converting these historical printed topographic quadrangles to an electronic format (GeoPDF). The processing of this invaluable collection is well underway, with more than 141,000 GeoPDF maps of the approximate total 180,000 currently available for download. (June 2012)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    "NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it." (June 2012)
  • National Weather Service
    Get information about past and present weather conditions. The site collects information on on all aspects of weather locally and nationally for the United States.
  • OFFSTATS - The University of Auckland Library
    "The OFFSTATS database provides access to free statistics from official sources on the web. Some specialised databases are only available to the University of Auckland staff and students," (June 2012).
  • Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
    "The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. We work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. We measure productivity and global flows of trade and investment. We analyse and compare data to predict future trends. We set international standards on a wide range of things, from agriculture and tax to the safety of chemicals" (June 2012).
  • Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
    The PCL Map Collection is operated by the University of Texas Libraries. "The PCL Map Collection includes more than 250,000 maps, yet less than 20% of the collection is currently online" (June 2012). Users will find maps of varying geographical regions, localities, and topics. Most are available in pdf format.
  • Pew Forum
    "The Pew Forum conducts surveys, demographic analyses and other social science research on important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world. It also provides a neutral venue for discussions of timely issues through roundtables and briefings," (June 2012)
  • Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)
    "SEDAC, the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, is one of the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) in the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SEDAC focuses on human interactions in the environment. Its mission is to develop and operate applications that support the integration of socioeconomic and Earth science data and to serve as an "Information Gateway" between the Earth and social sciences," (June 2012).
  • Toolik-Arctic Geobotanical Atlas (TAGA)
    The Toolik-Arctic Geobotanical Atlas (TAGA) is a web-based multi-scale collection of geobotanical maps and related material. It includes maps at seven different scales, from 1-m2 plots to the entire Arctic. The TAGA focuses on research sites at the Toolik Field Station and Imnavait Creek, Alaska, but also covers the Kuparuk River Basin, northern Alaska, Arctic Alaska, and the Circumpolar Arctic. Diverse geobotanical themes include geology, topography landforms, surficial geomorphology, soils, and vegetation. The maps and web site were developed at the Alaska Geobotany Center in collaboration with several other groups at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (see About the TAGA). (June 2012)
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    The United States Census Bureau's mission is "to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy." They collect data on housing, population, local governments, the economy and more. (June 2012)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    "HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business," (June 2012)
  • U.S. Library of Congress Geography & Maps Collection
    A collection of U.S. maps and resources that were put together with teachers in mind.
  • United Nations (UN)
    "The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights," (June 2012).
  • United States Department of State (USDS)
    USDS provides information on foreign countries including maps, flags, background information, and diplomatic policies.
  • United States Geological Survey
    As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers.
  • USGS Publications Warehouse
    "Pubs Warehouse provides access to over 100,000 publications written by USGS scientists over the century-plus history of the bureau" (June 2012).
  • Weather Underground
    Weather Underground offers present and historical data collected from professional and amateur meteorologists and climatologist. Weather Underground includes: maps, forecasts, photos, videos, articles, radar, satellite and more.
  • World Bank
    "The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world" (June 2012).

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