5 Free Sources Of Geo Data Sets

Here is a list of 5 free, downloadable Geo data sets from highly reputable sources.


USGS Earth Explorer

USGS’s new Earth Explorer gives you an access to one of the largest databases of satellite and aerial imagery.  A friendly user-interface makes accessing data simple. It even has a bulk download application. Register for a free account because this is the ultimate database for free remote sensing data.


Natural Earth

Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography software.


Landsat on AWS

Landsat 8 data is available for anyone to use via Amazon S3. All Landsat 8 scenes from 2015 are available along with a selection of cloud-free scenes from 2013 and 2014. All new Landsat 8 scenes are made available each day, often within hours of production. MathWorks has created a freely-downloadable tool for accessing, processing, and visualizing Landsat on AWS data in MATLAB. With this tool, you can create a map display of scene locations with markers that show each scene’s metadata.



NASA NEX is a collaboration and analytical platform that combines state-of-the-art supercomputing, Earth system modeling, workflow management and NASA remote-sensing data. Through NEX, users can explore and analyze large Earth science data sets, run and share modeling algorithms, collaborate on new or existing projects and exchange workflows and results within and among other science communities.



The full dataset is available from the OpenStreetMap website download area. It is also possible to select smaller areas to download. Data normally comes in the form of XML formatted .osm files. If you just want to use a "map" (e.g. for a GPS device) then you likely do not want to download this raw data, instead see other OSM download options.