Home > Public Domain Data > A Map to Access the Open Data Portals of the World

A Map to Access the Open Data Portals of the World

My colleague Nicolas Holm has created a very useful map showing the locations of the open data portals of the world. In our geospatial data-rich environment in which we all now work, this map is valuable because it allows data users to zoom in on specific locations where data is likely to be served for that location or region. It helps fill the gap in the need for a ‘central repository or library’ for geospatial data and acts as “data on data”. Nicolas created the map from the database from Open Knowledge International and OpenDataSoft which he wishes to gratefully acknowledge.

The resource is simple yet powerful–zoom in on area of interest, find points that represent data portals, and click on the data portal where you suspect your desired data set(s) will be. Most of the portals that are featured on this map are what we have featured in this blog as exemplifying “modern data portals”; ones that offer streaming and/or downloading options, many formats to choose from, and the ability to view the data before accessing it, typically using ArcGIS Hub or other open data sharing tools.

After testing the map, I was pleased to find many of my favorite international and also local and regional data portals included. We have reviewed many of these in this blog over the past decade.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, be critical and closely examine each portal to determine whether it meets your needs. Also keep in mind that the data you are seeking for a specific area might not necessarily be served by a data portal located in that area. For example, wetlands data for Area X may actually be served by a portal in Area Y, which may be on the other side of the state/province or even in the national capital by the national mapping or science agency. Still, for many applications, the local data portal might be the most suitable starting point. For example, if I needed data on a specific county’s floodplains, buildings, geologic hazards, and other layers, with this map I can zoom in to my area of interest and find the local and regional data portals from which I could stream and/or download the data that I need.

The map of the open data portals of the world.

–Joseph Kerski

Categories: Public Domain Data
  1. Bryan Baker
    September 14, 2021 at 4:26 am

    Unfortunately a lot of the links in the map turn up 404s, including most at arcgis.com.

  2. Andrew Zolnai
    September 14, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Hi, dataportals.org has just been fixed, I worked the front-end map awhile ago and learned Github in the process 😎

    https://dataportals.org/

    • josephkerski
      September 14, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks Andrew!

    • josephkerski
      September 15, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks Chandra and congratulations on your open data efforts!

  3. September 15, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Fantastic work! Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) provides terabytes of open-access environmental data. It would be wonderful if you could add TERN to the map. We have data for the entire Australian continent but are headquartered at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. https://portal.tern.org.au/

    • josephkerski
      September 16, 2021 at 3:21 am

      Thanks Mark for this and for reading this data blog! G’day. I made a GIS visit to your campus in 2017… beautiful place.

  4. Max
    September 18, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Maps from the countries on Balkan peninsula are not so great.
    Lot of bigger cities are missing. I just dont get most of this maps.

    • josephkerski
      September 18, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      True, Max, there are some omissions and errors, but I think, still useful for some uses. Thanks for reading this blog! –Joseph K

  5. Yanning Wei
    September 20, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    A friend of mine just recommended your book and website to me. Great work! I will use the book in my Intro to GIS class. Thanks for sharing! By the way, in the map above, a point feature displayed in Southwest China is labeled as Mexico.

    • josephkerski
      September 20, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks Dr Wei! Yes, there are errors and miscodings in the web map, but I think it is still a useful starting point in searching for spatial data. We very critically review data portals such as this one on this blog and talk about societal issues around spatial data and information, as well. –Joseph K

  1. September 14, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: