ESRI’s GovMaps.Org website (currently in beta), currently offers a searchable catalog of 88 data layers (and presumably growing) hosted at ArcGIS.com, mainly from the US Government, covering a wide variety of subjects areas. A random sampling:
- Crushed Stone Operations In The US
- NOAA_U.S. Historical Tsunami Database
- USA Congressional Districts
- USA Woody Biomass
- USGS Stream Gages and Weather Stations
- USA Fire Perimeters 2000 through 2009
Click on a link, and it takes you to that data page at ArcGIS.com with more info, metadata links, and download links:
Clicking on the arrow next to the “Open” link gives you a number of options, depending on the kind of data:
– “Open in ArcGIS.com Viewer”: Opens up the data directly in ArcGIS.com’s web-based map viewer. Oddly, this option isn’t available for all datasets; hopefully, it will be soon.
– “Open in ArcGIS Desktop”: Downloads an item.pkinfo or .lyr file that ArcGIS Desktop can use to load/download the info.
– “Download”: Downloads the full data in a layer package file (.lpk) that ArcGIS Desktop can open directly.
If you don’t own the expensive ArcGIS Desktop software, and want to view data that isn’t viewable at ArcGIS.com, any of the item.pkinfo, .lyr or .lpk files you download can also be opened up in ESRI’s free ArcGIS Desktop Explorer software, like the wildfire data shown below on top of the Bing Maps aerial basemap: