Saturday, February 20, 2010

MapWindow a free, extensible, full featured GIS (geographic information system)

There are many free GIS applications and more coming all the time, but none so far seem to be as complete and full featured as MapWindow. You can use MapWindow:

  • As your main desktop GIS
  • As an alternative desktop GIS
  • To distribute data to others
  • To develop and distribute custom spatial data analyses

MapWinGIS ActiveX Control

At the core of the MapWindow application is the MapWinGIS ActiveX control. Using this control, you can program custom mapping functionality directly into your own software.

  • Open source component (free distribution)
  • Complete GIS API for shapefile and grid data
  • Many built in GIS functions

What makes this GIS tool different than the others?

MapWindow is Open Source so you develop your own plug-ins if desired. MapWindow is free to use and redistribute to your clients and other end users.

Unlike other free tools, MapWindow is more than just a data viewer, it is an extensible geographic information system. This means that you can write plug-ins to add additional functionality (models, special viewers, hot-link handlers, data editors, etc.) and pass these along to any number of your clients and end users.

MapWindow includes standard GIS data visualization features as well as DBF attribute table editing, shapefile editing, and grid importing and conversion.

MapWinGIS ActiveX includes a GIS API for shapefile and grid data with many built in GIS functions.

MapWinGIS ActiveX can be redistributed royalty-free. No fee is required, although we happily accept donations to help support this effort.

Download MapWindow Free GIS.

If you are new to GIS, Check out the free Learn2Map GIS Tutorial and Shapefile Atlas

Thursday, February 18, 2010

EPA Geospatial Shapefile, KMZ Data Downloads Updated

EPA has updated their geospatial data as of 02/15/2010. These include shapefiles, KMZ and CSV files.

The follwing data sources were used:

  • Superfund National Priorities List (NPL)
  • RCRAInfo - Treatment, Storage, Disposal facilities
  • Toxic Release Inventory System - All reported years
  • NEPT - National Environmental Performance Track
  • Permit Compliance System (PCS) - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Majors
  • RCRAInfo - Large Quantity Generators (LQG)
  • Air Facility System (AFS) - Major discharges of air pollutants
Download EPA Geospatial Shapefiles, KMZ, XML and CSV Files

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All in One Guide to Energy Maps and Shapefiles on

Here is our collection of energy related maps and GIS shapefiles. Check back often as we update this page frequently.

Free Maps

United States Coalbed Methane Maps.

Oil and Gas Related Maps

Residential Energy Consumption Maps by U.S. Census Divisions.

World Energy Maps by county.

Renewable Energy Atlas of the West: A Guide to the Region's Resource Potential.

U.S. Regional Oil and Gas Field Maps.

Renewable Energy Potential Maps by U.S. Census Divisions.

Free Shapefiles

Renewable Energy ArcGIS Shapefiles by U.S. State

International Renewable Energy Wind Potential Shapefiles by country.

Create Your Own Maps with Free Shapefiles and GIS

If you are new to GIS and wish to create your own maps using shapefiles, there are plenty of free resources that you can use. We provide a free Learn2Map GIS Tutorial and Shapefile Atlas. We also provides listings of many free GIS software programs and other free shapefiles including the U.S. Census Tiger/Line 2009 ArcGIS Shapefiles for creating base layers like roads, highways, political districts, rivers, etc.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Download Free 2009 Census Tiger / Line GIS Shapefile Layers

It used to be that the Census Tiger / Line files were difficult to work with, requiring specialized software to convert into a format that most GIS programs could work with. The last two years the U.S. Census Bureau has made them available in shapefile format saving us a ton of work. Here's a brief description of the shapefiles. If you are new to GIS, check out our free Learn2Map GIS Tutorial and Atlas. We also have listed many free GIS software programs that you can use to create maps with the Tiger / Line Shapefiles.

* TIGER/Line®Shapefiles are spatial extracts from the Census Bureau's MAF/TIGER database, containing features such as roads, railroads, rivers, as well as legal and statistical geographic areas.

* TIGER/Line®Shapefiles are made available to the public for no charge and are typically used to provide the digital map base for a Geographic Information System or for mapping software.

* TIGER/Line®Shapefiles are designed for use with geographic information system (GIS) software. The TIGER/Line®Shapefiles do not include demographic data, but they contain geographic entity codes that can be linked to the Census Bureau’s demographic data, available on American FactFinder.

Download the U.S. Census Tiger / Line GIS Shapefiles.