Useful GIS/RS Datasources

Following are useful datasources for GIS/RS:

Datasources for Pakistan:

  1. Download Free Pakistan ArcGIS Shapefile Map Layers (Roads and Rail)
  2. Pakistan GIS: National & Provincial Boundaries of Pakistan

Datasources for Countries:

  1. Download by country | Global Administrative Areas
  2. Global Administrative Areas | Boundaries without limits
  3. China Global Investment Tracker Interactive Map

DEM Datasources:

  1. DEM Tutorial – A basic guide for using Digital Elevation Models with Terragen
  2. Data Basin | Datasets | 30 arc-second DEM of Asia
  4. LiDAR topography data from Open Topography


  1. Landsat dataset

Terrain Mapping Journal for the Earth and Beyond:

  1. Free Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and Free Satellite Imagery Download Links

OSGeo – Public Geospatial Data Committee:

  1. Geodata

Natural Earth:

  1. Cultural, Physical, and Raster dataset


  1. USGS/EROS Guides/dem
  2. USGS/EROS Find Data/Products and Data Available/DEMs
  3. USGS/EROS Find Data
  4. EarthExplorer
  5. Cumulus Portal for Geospatial Data

UNEP-WCMC – UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre:

  1. Datasets, Tools & Reports


  1. NASA astergdem tutorial
  2. NASA – NASA, Japan Release Most Complete Topographic Map of Earth

CGIAR – Consortium for Spatial Information:

  1. Soil Data
  2. World Elevation Data
  3. Climate Data

Google Earth Hacked Locations:

  1. Google Earth Hacks – Censored Locations
  2. Google Earth Hacks – World Nuclear Power Plants (updated 11.06.2006)
  3. Google Earth Hacks – World weather
  4. Google Earth Hacks – RealTime Disasters and Emergency Monitor
  5. Google Earth Hacks – Most dangerous road in the world
  6. Google Earth Hacks – CERN – with overlays


  1. ESRI_StreetMap_World_2D (MapServer)
  2. World_Topo_Map (MapServer)
  3. World_Terrain_Base (MapServer)
  4. Elevation/ESRI_Elevation_World (GlobeServer)
  5. Elevation/USGS_Elevation_US (GlobeServer)

Other Datasources:

  2. OpenGeoData – Home
  3. Spatial Data on the web, worldwide: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab at MIT
  4. GLCF: Data & Products
  5. Free GIS Datasets
  6. Birds Occurrence Map

Contour Map from DEM file

Prerequisite Software: ArcGIS 9.3

  1. Download the required DEM file from DEM Datasources. One of the datasource for DEM files is databasin. For following example, I downloaded Asia DEM file.
  2. Extract Portion of DEM Geoprocessing in ArcMap.
    1. Open new empty map in ArcMap.
    2. Drag and drop your DEM file from ArcCatalog to ArcMap. In my case, the dem file is 000asia_dem.
    3. Open ArcToolbox from icon on Standard Toolbar in ArcMap or from Windows>ArcToolbox.
    4. In ArcToolbox, click Spatial Analysis Tool > Extraction > Extract by Rectangle. In my case, I have entered following coordinates:
      • left = 70.59
      • right = 73.064
      • top = 34.849
      • bottom = 32.525
    5. Select aisa_dem in inputraster dropdown box.
    6. Browse to your given folder in output raster box and press ok. Also enter the name of the file to save. In my case it is surveydata.
    7. Extracted DEM will be created as new layer.

  3. Create Contour from DEM file.
    1. Open new empty map in ArcMap.
    2. Drag and drop the extracted DEM file from ArcCatalog to ArcMap. If it ask to create pyramids for dem file, press yes.
    3. Open Spatial Analyst Toolbox from right click on empty space of Standard Toolbar or goto view > Toolbars>Spatial Analyst.
    4. Goto Spatial Analyst > Surface Analysis > Contour
    5. Select in input box the given DEM layer.
    6. Set the Contour Intervals or keep the default values.
    7. Select the Output folder for Feature and give name to the shape file. In my case the name is surveycontour.shp. Press ok.
    8. A contour file will be created as new layer.

You can check the dem2contour poster for demo.