CE 394K GIS in Water Resources

Useful Internet Sites for GIS and Water Resources

Data for the United States


Geospatial One Stop  http://www.geodata.gov/gos

A central source for US Government data.   This is a very large compendium of data sources and also information about data.


Google Earth  http://earth.google.com/   An online map viewer with rapid imagery and terrain presentation.  It is an “intelligent viewer” that you have to download and put on your computer before you can use it.  Put in a street and it zooms there!  You can put your data onto Google Earth using Key Hole Markup language (kml).  Here is an explanation of how to use kml  http://www.duke.edu/~jlg34/Files/GoogleEarth.htm prepared by Jon Goodall of Duke University.   To convert shape files to kml format, use http://arcscripts.esri.com/ to go to Arc Scripts, and then type kml in the search box.  You’ll access tools that can be loaded into ArcMap for this purpose.


Hydrologic Unit Maps (HUC)

Description http://water.usgs.gov/GIS/huc.html

Get the data http://water.usgs.gov/lookup/getspatial?huc250k

The 8-digit hydrologic cataloging units are the basic water resources subdivision of the United States


EPA Reach File 1 (RF1)

Description http://water.usgs.gov/GIS/metadata/usgswrd/XML/erf1.xml

Get the data http://water.usgs.gov/GIS/dsdl/erf1.e00.gz


EPA Basins Model

Description http://www.epa.gov/OST/BASINS/

Get the data http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/basins/b3webdwn.htm

Contains a large inventory of environmental data organized by 8-digit hydrologic cataloging units


National Hydrography Dataset (NHD)

Description http://nhd.usgs.gov

Get the data http://nhd.usgs.gov/data.html

NHD in Geodatabase http://nhd.usgs.gov/geodatabase_review.html

NHD Applications Symposium, Dec 2000 http://www.crwr.utexas.edu/giswr/events/122000nhda/

The stream network and water bodies of the United States organized by 8-digit hydrologic cataloging units

National Inventory of Dams http://crunch.tec.army.mil/nid/webpages/nid.cfm


Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) for the United States

Seamless data distribution from EROS Data Center http://seamless.usgs.gov/

1 arc-second cells (1:24,000 scale) National Elevation Dataset http://gisdata.usgs.net/ned/

Elevation Derivatives for National Applications (EDNA) http://edna.usgs.gov/


US Coastline from National Geophysical Data Center

Coastline Extractor http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/shorelines/shorelines.html


USDA Soils Data

Statsgo – State Soil Database (1:250,000 scale) http://www.ncgc.nrcs.usda.gov/products/datasets/statsgo/

Ssurgo – County Soil Database http://www.ncgc.nrcs.usda.gov/products/datasets/ssurgo/

Statsgo is available for the whole United States.  Ssurgo is much more detailed but is available only in some counties.  For an exercise on how to interpret Statsgo, see: http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/giswr98/statland/webfiles/viewstat.htm

For an exercise on interpretation of Ssurgo data, see:



Land Use/Land Cover Data

National Land Cover Dataset http://landcover.usgs.gov/nationallandcover.asp

Land cover data on the seamless server http://seamless.usgs.gov/

USGS Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) http://edc.usgs.gov/products/landcover/lulc.html

National Wetlands Inventory Center http://www.nwi.fws.gov/

National Atlas of the United States http://www.nationalatlas.gov/atlasftp.html

Hydrologic Landscape Regions of the United States http://water.usgs.gov/lookup/getspatial?hlrus

-- description http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/pubs/abstracts/of.03-145.htm



National Climate Data Center http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/

NCDC Climate Data Online http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov

            Description of how to use Climate Data Online:



USDA Water and Climate Center (PRISM maps of mean precipitation) http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/climate/prism.html

For an exercise using PRISM and land cover data to estimate nonpoint source pollution, see: http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/giswr98/nonpoint/webfiles/corpus.html


National Center for Atmospheric Research  DayMet http://www.daymet.org/

Gridded daily precipitation and temperature on a 1 km grid, 1980—1997.


Water Resources

USGS National Water Information System http://water.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/

Real Time USGS Data on Water Watch http://water.usgs.gov/nwis/rt


Global Data

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) http://srtm.usgs.gov/

ESRI Geography Network http://www.geographynetwork.com/

Digital Chart of the World http://www.maproom.psu.edu/dcw/

GTOPO30 - 30 arc-second cell (1:1,000,000 scale) global DEM http://edcdaac.usgs.gov/gtopo30/gtopo30.html

Hydro1K – hydrologic derivative datasets from GTOPO30 http://edcdaac.usgs.gov/gtopo30/hydro/index.html

EROS Data Center Gateway http://edcimswww.cr.usgs.gov/pub/imswelcome/

Global Water and Energy Experiment (GEWEX) http://www.gewex.org/


Texas Data

Texas Natural Resource Information System http://www.tnris.state.tx.us/

TNRIS Vector Data http://www.tnris.state.tx.us/DigitalData/data_cat.htm


Utah Data

Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center, contains USGS Maps, DEM's, Orthophoto quads within Utah and Free.  Also includes if you look hard enough, liquefaction potential, Hydrography and Environmental data for certain locations.
Western Regional Climate Center

Nexrad data NEXRAD Stage III Precipitation data and procedures for using it.

Snotel and NRCS National Water and Climate Center.

I prepared in past years a web page of term paper ideas.  I updated it a bit this year at
This contains these data sources as well as possibly some others.


For more useful web links, see: http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/gishydro/docs/websites/othr_web.htm