Administrative Boundaries

Aerial / Orthophotos

Satellite Imagery

Assessor Data (Property Data)


Building Footprints & Zoning

  • Building footprints for the Boston Metro Area, Manhattan, Houston and New Orleans can be downloaded from the HGL. For example, type "Boston buildings 2012" into the search box, and select the layer created by the Boston Dept. of Innovation and Technology. 
  • Detailed parcel data is available for New York City (Goliath/Geo/nyc/2012) and Boston (accessible through HGL).
  • Zoning data for the state of Massachusetts can be downloaded from MassGIS.
  • To find building footprints for places outside of the US, search the HGL for "buildings." You'll find building footprints for many places, including The Hague, Jerusalem and Baghdad.
  • If you cannot find building outlines for your city through the HGL, you could use OpenStreetMap (OSM). Keep in mind that data in OSM is user-generated, much like information in Wikipedia. 
  • Parcel Data for South Africa is accessible through HGL.

Business Locations (US)

Harvard has a license for a product named ESRI Business Analyst, which provides information on locations of all of the businesses in the country from 2006 through to 2016. These data are available to the GSD community through the shared network drive:  /Geo/esri_business_analyst.

Documentation of these datasets can be viewed in ArcMap through Right-Click > Data > View Item Description.

Climate Datasets

Census Data (USA)

US County and City Data Books

Historical Census (US) 


Land Use and Land Cover

Historical Land Use Data


Shipping vessels



Transportation Statistics