GEOG 469
Energy Industry Applications of GIS

Lesson 8 Activity: Identifying and Locating State and Region Data


This activity will give you the skills to find Internet-based data and information, specifically data that can be downloaded and used for siting projects. The activity will focus on identifying and locating data for your state or region and compiling the data into a spreadsheet.


For this assignment, you will need to record your work in the given Excel Spreadsheet. Your work must be submitted in Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx) or PDF (.pdf) format so I can open it.


  1. Download the State and Regional Data spreadsheet. You will see that there are columns provided for each of the following points of information: I have included example entries on the first tab as a guide of what your spreadsheet should include. EXAMPLE ENTRIES INCLUDE:
    1. Data Category (5 total: Environmental, Wildlife, Landuse/Landcover, Cultural, and Local GIS Sources)
    2. Data Sub-category
    3. Data Name
    4. Data Format (Vector, Raster, Imagery)
    5. Coordinate System
    6. Horizontal Datum
    7. Description of the data
    8. Data Source
    9. Data Location URL
    10. Metadata Source
    11. Based on what you have learned about data quality, assess the data quality of this data source?
    12. What criteria did you use to assess the quality of the data?
  2. Find, at a minimum, one data source for each of the 5 categories listed in Item #1 above and enter the related information into the spreadsheet (use the "Student Work" tab of the previously downloaded document to show your work). Note that the data categories and data sub-categories are already provided on the spreadsheet. You need to add items 3 through 13 above. THESE ITEMS CORRESPOND TO THE COLUMN HEADINGS IN THE SPREADSHEET. (item #11—"Comments"—only needs to be provided when applicable).
    • When completing your spreadsheet, include, at a minimum, the data sources we outlined previously in this lesson, and any others you have found. Add rows to the spreadsheet if necessary.
    • When listing the website locations, be specific. For example, if you are located in Charlotte, North Carolina, list the URL that would take you to the data for Charlotte, not just North Carolina.
    • In addition, try to find as much available local data as you can. Go to the website for your county or city and see what data is available through their GIS department and list these links in your spreadsheet. (FOR EXAMPLE: LAND USE DATA, ZONING DATA, LAND PARCEL DATA, TAX PARCEL DATA, WATER QUALITY DATA, ETC.)
  3. Save your copy of the spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel or PDF format, using the following naming convention:

    Lesson8_Spreadsheet_AccessAccountID_LastName.xls (or .xlsx or .pdf)

Having Problems?

If you are having problems, post your questions to "General Questions and Comments: Lesson 8".

Submitting Your Work

Please submit your work to the Lesson 8 - GIS Data Sources drop box no later than Sunday at midnight of Lesson 8 (see our course calendar for specific due date).

Grading Criteria

This activity is graded out of 10 points

Lesson 8 Rubric
CRITERIA 5 4 3 2 1 0
Sources At least 1 source found for each of the 5 categories At least 1 source found for 4 of the 5 categories At least 1 source found for 3 of the 5 categories At least 1 source found for 2 of the 5 categories At least 1 source found for 1 of the 5 categories No Internet sources listed
Required Elements All 13 required elements provided 10-12 of the required elements are provided 6-9 of the required elements are provided 2-5 of the required elements are provided 1 of the required elements is provided None of the required elements are provided