Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) refers to a software and information collection used to sort and evaluate data about geographic places, analyze spatial relationships, and model spatial processes. For general questions, email For specific GIS problems or consultation requests, contact Matt Dunbar.

What We Offer

CSDE offers the following GIS and spatial analysis support to affiliates, staff, and demography students at UW:

After creating a CSDE Windows Account, CSDE affiliates, staff, and demography students have access to GIS and many other computing resources on and off campus. CSDE terminal servers have ESRI’s ArcGIS installed; CSDE’s Computing Resources provides more information about their use.


  • WAGDA – The Washington State Geospatial Data Archive, a great source for GIS and census data as well as information about working with census data in GIS. WAGDA’s geodatabase covers most of the data provided by the Seattle City and King County governments.
  • – National geodata files provided by numerous federal agencies. The GEODATA Catalog houses data in categories such as demography, health, environment, military, and economics.
  • Diva-GIS Spatial Data – Collection of several useful global GIS data layers. Note the extensive global administrative boundaries Diva-GIS (GADM) data.
  • Global Land Cover Facility – Provides remotely sensed data resources. Free satellite imagery can be previewed and downloaded at the Earth Science Data Interface (ESDI) website.
  • The Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI) – Providers of SRTM 90m Digital Elevation data for the entire world.
  • Open Street Map – User-reated street data for various countries across the globe. Shapefile extracts by continent and can be accessed at


Demographic Data

Health Data

Non-Spatial Data Resources

  • Data.Seattle.Gov – Public datasets generated by various departments of Seattle City government. Data categories include community, crime, education, fire, permitting, and transportation.
  • King County Assessor Data – Public records of the Assessor’s Property Information files. The site also includes annual, area, and statistical assessment reports.
  • Seattle Police Department – Includes crime statistics and tract-level crime data for Seattle.

GIS Data Sites with Links to Other Data Resources

On-Campus Resources

Through UW

  • UW GIS Courses – A list of courses in GIS and related fields offered at UW.
  • UW Extension GIS Certificate Program – A program offering a 3-quarter GIS Certificate; designed for working professionals.
  • CSSCR – The UW Center for Social Science Computation and Research, which offers several short introductory GIS courses on various topics.