For Beginners & Experienced GIS Users Alike
Skip to Toxic Release Inventory TRI Shapefiles - Canadian FSA Postal Code Shapefiles - Geographic Names Information System Shapefiles - Zip Code Boundary Shapefiles with Demographics - U.S. 2010 Census Zip Code Boundary Shapefiles - U.S. Nuclear Energy Facilities - U.S. Streams, Rivers, Waterways - U.S. Waterbodies and Wetlands - U.S. School District Shapefiles - Tornado Shapefiles - Dams and Risk of Failure - Indian & Federal Lands Shapefiles - Climate Change Shapefiles
Beginners Create Digital GIS Maps in Minutes
Now you can learn digital mapping. Add value to your education, job or business with GIS (geographic information systems). Each GIS map layer includes easy to follow instructions that show you how to add streets, highways, census information and much more to your maps for free. Each of the shapefile map layers also includes free access to our Learn2Map GIS Tutorial and Atlas and free GIS software so that you can begin creating GIS map projects in minutes. If you are new to GIS, learn more about it here.
If you are already using GIS, these shapefiles work with ArcView GIS, ArcGIS, Maptitude, Mapinfo, Manifold and many other commercial GIS and mapping programs and many free GIS programs as well. We have included several base shapefile map layers with each map archive listed below. In addition, we have many free GIS shapefiles that you may wish to add to your digital maps.
Toxic Release Inventory Shapefiles Based
on Latest October, 2012 EPA Dataset
Canada Forward Sortation Areas
(FSA) Postal Code Shapefiles
U.S. Geographic Names
Information System (GNIS)
Shapefiles Based on USGS GNIS
Data Updated 10/1/2012
Zip Code Boundary Shapefiles with
Demographics Based on 2010 U.S. Census Data
Discount U.S. Zip Code Boundary Shapefiles
Based on 2010 U.S. Census Data
Nuclear Energy Facilities in the U.S.
U.S. Streams, Rivers and Waterway GIS Shapefiles
U.S. Waterbody and Wetlands Shapefile
U.S. Elementary, Secondary
and Unified School District Shapefiles
Each of the school district GIS map layers is derived from the latest U.S. census 2010 data. School districts are included for all 50 U.S. states plus Puerto Rico. Each shapefile includes access to free GIS base files. You can download all 3 school district shapefiles immediately.
U.S. Tornadoes from 1950 through 2008 Shapefiles
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC), one of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, studies severe and dangerous weather, including heavy rain and snow, fire weather events, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. The SPC uses advanced technology to provide tornado forecasts, watches, and warnings for the conterminous United States, as well as other tornado information used by many groups, such as weather forecasters, emergency managers, and the aviation industry. As part of their research, the SPC compiles tornado statistics from data in the Tornado/Severe Thunderstorm Database and from National Weather Service storm data.
The United States Tornado Touchdown Points 1950-2008 map layer includes tornado touchdown points for tornadoes that occurred in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Descriptive information includes the latitude and longitude of the touchdown and lift-off points, the number of fatalities or injuries, an estimate of damage costs, and the classification of the storm on the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale.
U.S. Dams - Name, Location,
and Type of Dam
The Major Dams of the United States map layer is a subset of the 2005 National Inventory of Dams, extracted by the National Atlas of the United States®. It lists and describes more than 8,100 major dams in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Major dams include dams 50 feet or more in height, dams with a normal storage capacity of 5,000 acre-feet or more, and dams with a maximum storage capacity of 25,000 acre-feet or more. Descriptive information includes the dam name and location, the risk level associated with the dam, the purposes for which the dam was constructed, and the dam type.
With these detailed shapefiles you can learn more about dams and their condition anywhere in the United States.
Indian & Federal Lands
- Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) GIS Shapefile Map Layer
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM) GIS Shapefile Map Layer
- Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) GIS Shapefile Map Layer
- Department of Defense (DOD) GIS Shapefile Map Layer
- Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) GIS Shapefile Map Layer
- Forest Service (FS) GIS Shapefile Map Layer
- National Park Service (NPS) GIS Shapefile Map Layer
Each GIS map layer includes other federal lands, not listed above, and base layers including cities, roads, rivers, states and water bodies. Click here for details.
Climate Change Global Warming Shapefiles
Changes in Temperature and Precipitation
from 2010 through 2099
IPCC 4th Assessment scenario A2 temperature and precipitation GIS shapefile map layers for the years 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, 2060, 2070, 2080, 2090 and 2099. The data points are spaced approximately 4.5 km (2.8 miles) apart. The data covers the lower 48 United States. Each point includes data for each of the 12 months of the year, making comparisons and calculations of increases or decreases between months and decades possible.
About the A2 Scenario
The A2 storyline and scenario family describes a very differentiated and
heterogeneous world. The underlying theme is self-reliance and preservation of
local identities. Emphasis on economic, social, and cultural interactions between
regions is less than in other storylines. Fertility patterns across regions
converge very slowly, which results in high population growth. Economic
development is uneven, the income gap between now-industrialized and developing
parts of the world does not narrow, and per capita economic growth and
technological change are more fragmented and slower than in other storylines.
Main characteristics A2 scenario include: high population growth, medium GDP
growth, high energy use, medium-high land use changes, low resource (mainly oil
and gas) availability, slow pace and direction of technological change favoring
regional economic development.
In addition to each GIS shapefile map layer, you get base map layers including cities, roads, rivers, states and water bodies. Click here for details.
No Experience Required
The shapefiles come with easy to follow instructions for downloading ArcExplorer, a free GIS map viewer. We provide step-by-step instructions so that you can easily learn to use and view the maps. For more help, each shapefile is packaged with our Learn2Map GIS Tutorial & Atlas.
A Note About How Your GIS Maps Will Look
The image(s) on this page are examples of how these shapefiles may look when loaded into a GIS program. Your GIS maps may not look exactly like this. Each GIS program is different. Shapefiles themselves are a collection of points, lines or polygons. They have no attributes. It is up to you, the user, to define colors, line width, symbols and other attributes within the limits and capabilities of the GIS programs you are using.
About Quality, Accuracy and Suitability
This data may come from a variety of
government and self-reporting private
sources. While we try to assure the accuracy of
this material, we cannot promise that it is
absolutely accurate. We do promise that using the
map layer will be fun, entertaining or educational.
Beyond this, we make no guarantee as to its
suitability for any purpose. We assume no liability
or responsibility for errors or inaccuracies. Please
understand that you use these map layers and data at your own
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