If you use GIS, then you are likely a fan of free shapefile data just like me. So for this month’s Free For All, here is a treasure trove of socioeconomic shapefiles and geodatabases put together by NASA. Specifically, the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) contains 195 datasets broken down by themes like climate, population, poverty and water. I was particular excited to see a global roads layer even if it is a bit dated as Esri does not contain information like this in their free sample datasets. You are also able to add these datasets as a streaming WMS layer in an OGC-complaint mapping application with the directions you can find here. As a quick note, you will need a free EOSDIS Earthdata account to download the data here.
Until my next edition of the Free For All, happy hunting for free geospatial goodies!
Brock Adam McCarty