Geographic References


Geographic References

The purpose of this page is to provide collections of resources from around the web to use in teaching various aspects of geography, from the physical to the human, and even into geospatial technology. Each of these resources has been reviewed by the COGA team and determined to provide content useful for creating or developing lesson plans in geography. If you have a suggestion or resource you'd like to share, please email us at


    Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM)

    The GDEM was created by processing and stereo-correlating the 1.3 million-scene ASTER archive of optical images, covering Earth's land surface between 83 degrees North and 83 degrees South latitudes. The GDEM is produced with 30-meter (98-feet) postings, and is formatted as 23,000 one-by-one- degree tiles. The GDEM is available for download from NASA's EOS data archive and Japan's Ground Data System.

  • Avalanche mapping

    Avalanche Mapping

    This is a project to collect digital avalanche and snowpit data promote avalanche information sharing. It is the only project dedicated to building avalanche path atlases and GIS data for avalanche modeling and forecasting.

  • Canadian Geographic Logo


    Canadian Atlas Online / L'Atlas du Canada en linge

    This site from Canadian Geographic hosts a variety of useful geographic materials, including thematic maps, glossary of terms, and quizzes and games for different age groups.  

  • ESRI Disaster Response Program

    Disaster Response Resources, Esri, Inc.

    GIS is used in many phases of disaster management, starting with planning before an event happens. Disaster relief involves the response phase of disaster management. GIS and GIS professionals can assist immediately by helping decision makers understand the scope of the damage and identify locations where people may be trapped or injured or require medical support and rescue. This collection Esri includes a number of maps and other resources designed to help understand Disaster Responses for wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural phenomenon.

  • Earth as Art Collection

    Earth as Art, United States Geological Survey

    This collection, including an image of the week, uses Landsat 7 images that were taken for aesthetic rather than scientific purposes.  Each of these beautiful images shows the world in a way that can only be seen from space.  Also in this collection are individual Landsat images of each of the 50 states, and an amazingly different view of the journey of Lewis and Clark.

  • Environmental Justice Tool

    Environmental Justice Geographic Assessment Tool

    EJView, formerly known as the Environmental Justice Geographic Assessment Tool, is a mapping tool that allows users to create maps and generate detailed reports based on the geographic areas and data sets they choose.

    EJView includes data from multiple factors that may affect human and environmental health within a community or region, including:

    • demographic
    • health
    • environmental
    • facility-level data
  • USDA Food Atlas

    Food Environment Atlas, United States Department of Agriculture

    Food environment factors--such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics--interact to influence food choices and diet quality. Research is beginning to document the complexity of these interactions, but more is needed to identify causal relationships and effective policy interventions.  This collection from the USDA Economic Research service provides geospatial data useful for investigating relationships between food and proximity.

  • Geocube

    Geocube, HERODOT

    The European Network for Geography in Higher Education - Geocube: re-inventing the way to explore Geography.  The world of Geography at your fingertips and just a mouse click away!   Geocube is an attractive online resource about Geography. Geocube is based on the principle of the Rubik Cube with six faces and 54 topics. It is a virtual and easily accessible website which is available online for free.

  • Geology of North America

    Database of the Geologic Map of North America

    The Geological Society of America's (GSA) Geologic Map of North America (Reed and others, 2005; 1:5,000,000) shows the geology of a significantly large area of the Earth, centered on North and Central America and including the submarine geology of parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This map is now converted to a Geographic Information System (GIS) database that contains all geologic and base-map information shown on the two printed map sheets and the accompanying explanation sheet.

  • Harvard Library Logo

    Harvard Geospatial Library

    Looking for layers?  The Harvard Geospatial Library has TONS of data available for free to download in shapefile and other formats.  Data categories range from agricultural to military to physical geography layers.  This repository of GIS data is an excellent resource to use in classrooms for mapping, or to use in your own research projects.  

  • Kanetix Travel Guide

    Kanetix Travel Guide to Cartographic Resources

    Thanks to Alice Taylor for bringing to our attention this great cartographic reference page.  Includes histories of map making and cartoraphy, rules for beginning cartographers, and guides and tools for making or using maps.

  • NCGE logo

    National Council for Geographic Education Resources Collection

    The NCGE resources are specifically vetted and tailored toward providing outstanding content for teachers in geography.  Some of the resources include data and information useful for AP Human Geography teachers, tips and tools for starting and running a geography club, integration of geography into social studies programs, and exercises for using remote sensing and GIS in your classroom.

  • Unique and Interesting Maps

    Sometimes COGA finds some really interesting maps floating around the net! These can be of historical significance, be developed for a specific purpose, or just fun and wacky. As geographers, we love maps, and love to share them! Follow the link to see the collection of singular maps and collections.