Below you can find links to various relevant (non-remote sensing) spatial data sets.

Natural Earth Data

NaturalEarthData provides a variety of spatial cultural and physical data sets (e.g. administrativ boundaries, roads). It has the high advantage of providing pre-processed data sets which can be easily used inside a GIS, for example for map creation.

UNEP Environmental Data Explorer

The UNEP data portal offers access to different data sets ranging from national to global extent.

SEDAC (Socioeconomic Data and Application Center)

The SEDAC at CIESIN data portal provides a range of socioeconomic data sets, such as the “Last of the Wild” data set.

Soil Data

SoilGrids1km is a collection of updatable soil property and class maps of the world at a relatively coarse resolution of 1 km.

The Soil Data Information System by JRC offers a variety of soil related spatial data sets.


The AfriPop Project offers spatial demographic information on a per-grid square estimates basis of numbers of people.

EU OpenDate Portal

The EU OpenDate Portal provides a variety of data sets of the EU. Not all data are spatially explicit, but nevertheless may be useful.

Spatial Analyst is a webpage by Tomislav Hengl which provides very useful links and information to various data sets and also methodological approaches.

Global Change Master Directory by NASA

A extensive list of different sets data ranging from biosphere to cryoshehre are provided by the GCMD directory.

Global Lakes and Wetlands Database

WWF and the Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel, Germany have created the Global Lakes and Wetlands Database (GLWD). The database provides spatial data on (1) large lakes and reservoirs, (2) smaller water bodies, and (3) wetlands.

Various Data Sets via DIVA-GIS

On the DIVA-GIS website an interactive function to download various data sets of different sources on a country level is available.

List of global Data sets via EDENext

The EDENext provide an extensive list of useful spatial data resources, listed by different categories.


GeoCommons is a community dedicated to collecting open data from aorund the world. They provide a large database of user submitted spatial data.


A steadily increasing source for spatial data can be found here:

Worldbank Maps

Various country indicator data sets can be downloaded from the Worldbank portal at


On MapCruzin, a variety of shape files for digital cartography can be download. They also provide free GIS tutorials.

National Open Data repositories


  • Administrative boundaries, cities, roads, DEMs and more can be found here.

Climate Data

Open Weather Data

The Open Weather Data website offers free access to various information and offers a variety of APIs.