GIS resources are free from the Geography Network

GIS resources are free from the Geography Network

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

The Geography Network, recently launched by Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. at, makes available geographic information system data from distributed sources.

The site has its own Geographic Network Explorer minibrowser with built-in search functions.

Representatives of ESRI of Redlands, Calif., said the network's data layers include political, elevation, vegetation, land use, socioeconomic and satellite image data. GIS software can bridge two or more of the contributing sites to overlay their digital maps.

Government contributors to the site's free, downloadable data sets and maps include the Library of Congress and the Geological Survey as well as environmental offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, and the Cincinnati and San Diego areas. Other maps and resources come from vendors and individuals. Visit

Free software downloadable from the site includes ESRI's ArcExplorer 1.1 geographic data viewer for Microsoft Windows 9x or NT; an import utility to convert ArcInfo interchange files for use in ArcExplorer; and dlgv32 software for Windows 95 for viewing USGS' digital line graph, digital raster graphic and Spatial Data Transfer Standard data.

In other GIS news, Erdas Inc. of Atlanta has released a free ViewFinder tool for displaying geographic images, reprojecting different data types, displaying multiple images in one viewer or working in multiple open viewers. ViewFinder works with Erdas IMG, TIFF, GeoTIFF and other image formats. It is downloadable from

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