The Office for Information Systems of the Harvard University Library has announced that the Harvard Geospatial Library, an innovative combination of library and analytical laboratory services, is now online. The goal of the Harvard Geospatial Library (HGL), formerly known as "Geodesy," is to enable students, faculty, and other members of the Harvard community to perform meaningful geospatial analyses within the strict time requirements of a problem set, a term paper, or a real-world issue. Once the province of astronomers, land-use planners, and geoscientists, geospatial analysis is an increasingly valued tool in many disciplines, including, but not limited to, economics, the social sciences in general, business and marketing, and engineering. In any discipline concerned with geospatial analysis, the challenges of finding relevant and interesting data, obtaining it in a useable form, using analysis tools, and accessing appropriate computing platforms have all been addressed in the Harvard Geospatial Library.
Improved Access to Geospatial Materials
Facilitated Access to GIS Datasets
GIS Analysis and Cartography
Geospatial Data Sets in the HGL
ESRI Data & Maps A global data set that includes geographic features, political boundaries, and demographic data from a number of fully documented sources. Data is more detailed for Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the US. Restricted to use by members of the Harvard community.
Digital Chart of the World A set of 1:1,000,000 scale data for the world, including major road and rail networks, hydrologic drainage systems, utility networks, all major airports, elevation contours, coastlines, international boundaries, and populated places.
Census TIGER 2000 The current release of the TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system) data from the Census Bureau. TIGER is a digital database of geographic features, political boundaries, and census boundaries covering the entire United States. It was developed to support the mapping and related geographic activities required by the decennial census and sample survey programs.
Boston Water and Sewer Commission Database This data set includes detailed street and building footprint data for Boston. Restricted to use by members of the Harvard community.
City of Cambridge Data Data from the City of Cambridge GIS division. The data set includes building footprints, road edges and centerlines, railroads and hydrography, as well as two-foot contour lines. This data can be used for detailed cartography or analysis of sites within the city. Restricted to use by members of the Harvard community.
MassGIS Through MassGIS, the Commonwealth has created a comprehensive, statewide database of spatial information for environmental planning and management. MassGIS is the Commonwealth's office of geographic and environmental information, within the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
In HGL's second year, it is anticipated that nine additional GIS datasets will be available on the HGL. These include: the India Pollmap, providing detailed census information for India; planning data from the City of Brookline, Massachusetts; North Korea base data; additional TIGER and census files; and Digital Map database of China.