In Sweden we have "Lantmäteriet" wich is same as "USGS".

"Lantmäteriet" have several datasets like "Road-map","General-map", etc. These data-sets contains boundaries, roads, landcover, contour-lines, lakes,etc. Se the link and the image on that link, thats how the map looks like when I open it in ArcMap. Its only 1 zip file you download, and that file contains all the layers, polylines, polygons, points.

Link to English information PDF about Swedish "General-Map". https://www.lantmateriet.se/globalassets/kartor-och-geografisk-information/kartor/produktbeskrivningar/eng/e_overshmi.pdf

Does USA have free data-sets that contains the same or similar amount of data as the Swedish General-map and where can I download that data from?


1 Answer 1


There are many resources that provide general map resources for the United States.

The Census Bureau provides a repository for demographic data and administrative GIS data. In particular, the U.S. Census Bureau releases a series of shapefile data under the TIGER project through their main website and through an FTP directory. TIGER includes administrative boundaries (e.g. states, counties, cities), cartographic boundaries such as shorelines, hydrography within a moderate resolution, roads/highways, and address ranges. This pdf is a good example of how it structures each type of information.

The USGS has hydrography, land cover classification, digital elevation models (DEM), and land/water boundaries but at a better resolution. They also contain orthographic satellite imagery on their FTP site. You can find more information here. It may or may not also have LIDAR data.

Lastly, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics includes another avenue for transportation networks through the National Transportation Atlas Database.

I hope this information was helpful.

  • Thanks for the info. But is there somewhere that I can download a "complete map" for a county or city that contains all data like roads, land cover, houses, i mean without downloading single files?
    – esset
    Nov 4, 2016 at 9:35

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