Category Archives: Maps


Wildfires across the United States have been breaking records in several states, based on the number of acres burned and number of houses lost. But according to the Christan Science Monitor, the fires of today are but pale reflections of the tremendous forest fires in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which destroyed millions of acres, much of it old-growth timber.

The current wave of fires is still severe. The U.S. Fire Administration keeps statistics on wildfires. The main government agency charged with responding to wildfire emergencies is the National Interagency Fire Center, in Boise, Idaho. Eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC.

In response to the increasing number and severity of wildfires in recent years, the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, an intergovernmental council of Federal, state, tribal, county and municipal government officials, has developed a strategy for handling wildfires. The Congressional Research Service has also written a report for Congress, Wildfire Protection in the Wildland-Urban Interface, which addresses the issue of urban area encroachment on forests.


At first glance the NYCityMap doesn't look very useful — and the navigation icons are different from what you are used to on Google Maps, bother! But a closer look reveals a wealth of information available at your fingertips. On the right side, under the heading "Show Additional Data on Map," there are check boxes to add boundaries and other data icons to the map. These become more useful as you zoom in on specific neighborhoods and areas of the city. Not sure where the area you want is located? Click on "Advanced Search," which allows you to search by address, ZIP code, community district and others. When I searched for my address, the map zoomed in on the area, with my building highlighted in red. On the right appeared a box with information about my building, including block and lot numbers, police precinct, owner (Trustees of Columbia), the year built, number of units, etc. There are also links to additional city information, such as building violations, building elevator information, the DOHMH Rat Information Portal (!), and tax and property records. I can also access neighborhood information and elected official information on the local, state and federal level.

Social Explorer for Historical Maps

Looking for historical U.S. Census maps?  Try Social Explorer – a database product that helps to visually analyze and understand the demographics of the United States through the use of interactive maps and data reports.  Explore thousands of historical data maps, from the first US Census in 1790 to the present!

Census – Population Density, NYC Metro Area

1790, 1890, 1990

1790 1890 1990

Atlas of Global Development


The World Bank has just published the 3rd edition of The Atlas of Global Development and the new eAtlas of Global Development.


The Atlas of Global Development vividly illustrates the key development challenges facing our world today. Social, economic, and environmental issues that are facing the planet are presented by easy-to read, colorful world maps, tables, graphs, text and photographs. Drawing on data from the World Bank's authoritative World Development Indicators, the book brings to life country comparisons of social indicators like life expectancy, infant mortality, safe water, population, growth, poverty and energy efficiency.

The eAtlas, a new online companion to Atlas of Global Development, third edition, builds on the Atlas topics, allowing you to visualize and analyze a wider variety of data in greater depth, over a longer time period. You can:

Map more than 175 World Bank indicators worldwide
Compare and view two maps simultaneously
Animate maps to show change over time
View all data in ranking tables and charts alongside maps
Export maps and data for use in presentations and more
Import your own data

Spatial Data Server Available in The DSSC!

We are in the process of implementing an ArcSDE installation for the distribution of many of our larger datasets.  The server is now online and we have several layers available, including Orthoimagery, Street files, World-wide DEMs and other raster datasets.  Right now access is only available from the DSSC and EDS labs. To access the layers you need to use an ESRI .lyr file, we have created one for each dataset and they can be downloaded from the CU Spatial Data Catalog.  These datasets can be viewed quickly and you can make extractions limited to your area of interest.  We will be adding more layers in the very near future.