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Data sources

While the CU Libraries encompass a number of excellent data sources, this list supplements them with freely available web resources on everything from aerial photos to UNEP graphics.

Aerial Photographs of Colorado - 1,700 digitized aerial photos of Colorado taken by the U.S. Forest Service from 1938 to 1947, searchable using a map interface or geographic keyword search. Images and metadata can be downloaded free of charge. Coverage is from Boulder, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer, and Summit Counties. A project of the CU Libraries' excellent Map Library.

Alexandria Digital Library gazetteer - Search this world gazetteer to find place names and lat/long coordinates for just about any populated place or named natural feature in the world.

Antarctic Invertebrates - With 19 million specimens, the U.S. Antarctic Program collection at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is the most valuable tool we have for the study of Antarctic and subantarctic marine invertebrates. The collection includes type and non-type material dating back to the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842. Web content includes images, literature references, maps, and other data about specimens represented in the NMNH collections.

Arctic GIS - Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) site linking to information about the availability of GIS data for the far north.

Arctic Portal - A gateway to the Arctic on the Internet, increases co-operation between both public and private parties across the Arctic. This IPY project is led by Iceland with several partners and at first focused on the needs of the Arctic Council; but has expanded. It hosts news, an integrated document library, project directory, and interactive mapping.

Computer Network of Arctic Marine Fauna - a joint German-Russian effort to document the distribution and composition of marine faunal communities on the Eurasian-Arctic shelf, particularly Ophiuroids and invertebrates.

DataONE - The Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) is a distributed framework and sustainable cyberinfrastructure that give open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered Earth observational data. Supported by the NSF, DataONE ensures preservation and access to multiscale, multidiscipline, and multinational science data across domain boundaries. DataONE will make biological data available from the genome to the ecosystem; make environmental data available from atmospheric, ecological, hydrological, and oceanographic sources; provide secure and long-term preservation and access; and engage scientists, land-managers, policy makers, students, educators, and the public through logical access and intuitive visualizations.

dbSEABED - marine substrate information from seafloor surveys is unified in this source, which can import into your GIS or relational database.

Discovering Antarctica - An outreach site from the Royal Geographical Society in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey and U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Multimedia and interactive activities engage visitors in exploring the physical, biological, and human story of the Antarctic continent. Topics are organized in non-traditional but logical ways. Winner of the Geoscience Information Society Best Website Award for 2009.

Fossilworks: Gateway to the Paleobiology Database - a public resource for the global scientific community, which provides global, collection-based occurrence and taxonomic data for marine and terrestrial animals and plants of any geological age, as well as web-based software for statistical analysis of the data.

FRED - a database for the New Zealand Fossil Record File (FRF). This is a recording scheme for fossil localities in NZ and nearby regions including SE Pacific Islands and the Ross Sea region of Antarctica, and is jointly managed by Geoscience Society of New Zealand and GNS Science.

GB3D Type Fossils Online - funded by Jisc, this database includes type specimens, held in British collections, of macrofossil species and subspecies found in the UK, including photographs, stereo pairs, and 3D digital models.

GeoCommunicator - from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, well-organized access to land and mineral use records, a map server showing public lands, Public Land Survey System (PLSS) and other survey-based data, and reference documents on cadastral survey and land records.

Geologic Atlas of the United States - TIFF images of 227 USGS map folios, produced between 1894 and 1945, with topographic and geologic maps. The maps cover selected areas of the United States, including Colorado's Engineer Mountain, Needle Mountains, Spanish Peaks, and Colorado Springs. The images take about 10-15 minutes to load but are publication-quality when they do (no low-res PDFs here).

Global Change Master Directory - a clearinghouse of earth science data. Browse by topic (atmosphere, biosphere, climate indicators, cryosphere, human dimensions, hydrosphere, paleoclimate, etc.), data centers, locations, instruments, platforms, or projects.

Global Runoff Data Center - the worldwide repository of discharge data and associated metadata, focusing on global river discharge data for the sake of research linking global and local change issues. Operates under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with the support of the Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany.

International Ocean Discovery Program - sponsored by funding agencies in the United States, Europe, and Japan, this program conducts basic research into the history of the ocean basins and the nature of the crust below the seafloor.

International Polar Year - This portal is the official gateway to all things IPY, including participating agencies and organizations, research projects, classroom resources, and galleries.

International Tree-Ring Data Bank - maintained by the NOAA Paleoclimatology Program and World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, this data bank includes raw ring width or wood density measurements and site chronologies for more than 2000 sites on six continents.

Mineral Database from - data on minerals worldwide, which you can search by properties, chemical composition, mineral association, or geographic location. The entry for each mineral includes physical and chemical properties, type occurences, crystallography, optical and x-ray powder diffraction data, and related minerals.

National Archive of Marine Seismic Surveys - historic 2D and 3D seismic data covering offshore Alaska, California, and portions of the west coast. ChevronTexaco Corp. donated the data to the AGI in March 2005; the USGS and AGI are partnering in converting the data from magnetic tapes. The data are useful for understanding offshore structural geology, marine sedimentation, and fault systems.

National Climatic Data Center - NOAA - the world's largest active archive of weather and climate data.

National Geophysical Data Center - NOAA - more than 300 databases describing the solid earth, marine, and solar-terrestrial environments.

National Map - USGS - A cornerstone of the USGS National Geospatial Program, The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other federal, state, and local partners to improve and deliver U.S. topographic information.

National Oceanographic Data Center - NOAA - global marine and coastal data, including climatic atlases, zooplankton time series, and History of the Arctic Exploration 2003: Cruise Reports, Data.

National Snow and Ice Data Center Data - data sets from many investigators, including data held in the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC), ARCSS, Frozen Ground Catalog, NOAA, and World Data Center for Glaciology. Also special collections, such as Glaciers Long-Term Change Photograph Pairs, which match photographs of glaciers taken as early as the 1890s with recent photos taken from the same physical locations.

Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) data - includes archived raw data.

On the Cutting Edge - this professional development resource helps keep geoscience faculty up-to-date on both Earth science research and teaching methods. A project of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, this useful site with clear navigation works new discoveries and research fairly quickly into classroom settings.

PETLAB - a New Zealand rock catalogue and geoanalytical database. It is operated by GNS, with GNS and Auckland, Waikato, Massey, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago universities contributing data. The database contains locations, descriptions and analyses of rock and mineral samples collected from onland and offshore New Zealand and Antarctica by government, university and industry geologists. Information has been sourced from journal articles, theses, and open file reports.

Polar Pictures - the photo archive of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, digitized and searchable. Scott Polar has the most extensive polar image collection in the world and is especially strong in early exploration and expeditions.

RealClimate blog - a commentary site on climate science that provides a quick response and missing context to developing media stories.

Picture Library, Scott Polar Research Institute - The photo archive of the Scott Polar Research Institute, digitized and searchable. Scott Polar has the most extensive polar image collection in the world and is especially noted for its historical photographs.

Seismic data on interactive map servers for the world, or for more discrete geographies in Northern California, Southern California, Nevada, Japan, and Iceland.

UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps & Graphics Library - Repository for outputs from all UNEP/GRID-Arendal publications, projects, and web products, including figures and illustrations from the popular Vital Graphics series and GLOBIO human impact maps.