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Recommended Websites

American Factfinder

Your source for population, housing, economic, and geographic information. From the U.S. Census Bureau


ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based, collaborative content management system for maps, apps, data, and other geographic information.


Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science

Provides unrestricted access to tools and perspectives that will advance the spatial analytic capabilities of researchers throughout the social sciences.


Criminal Justice Data Analysis Tools

Brings together data from more than 100 sources about many aspects of criminal justice in the United States. These data are displayed in over 1,000 tables. The site is updated regularly as new statistics become available. Supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

", which was launched by the Obama administration as part of its Open Government Initiative in 2009, offers access to data generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Enterprising government agencies and private citizens have built on the site's hundreds of thousands of data sets (and other sources) to help you find everything from the most on-time flight between two airports to the latest product recalls."


Earth Explorer

From the U.S. Geological Survey, enables data search by region


Geography Databases: Directory of Online Resources

Links to geography resources from AcademicInfo. AcademicInfo is an online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information whose mission is to provide free, independent, and accurate information and resources.


GeoRef Open Access Journals

Offers a list of free open access journals in the field of geosciences.


Google Earth

"Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the Sky. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places and share with others." (publisher's description)


Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to search for scholarly literature. When accessing this database through the link provided here you will find free connections to the pay for view materials that are located in our subscription sources. Just click on "Find Full Text @SMU." See also the Google Scholar Blog for citation metrics.

Some full text, some pay for view

HighWire Press

From Stanford University Libraries, a large collection of scholarly publications focusing on the biological and medical sciences with some coverage of the physical and social sciences as well. 

Full text/Some pay for view | More info

National Criminal Justice Reference Source Abstracts Database

Contains summaries of the more than 190,000 criminal justice, juvenile justice, and substance abuse resources housed in the NCJRS Library collection. NCJRS is a federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.


National Historical Geographic Information System

Provides aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2010.


Open Geospatial Consortium

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international industry consortium of 509 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface standards. OGC® Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services and mainstream IT. The standards empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications.


Urban Observatory

Cloud based "interactive exhibit that gives you the chance to compare and contrast maps of cities around the world–all from one location. It aims to make the world’s data both understandable and useful. Brought to life by Richard Saul Wurman, RadicalMedia, and Esri, it is the first exhibit of its kind."


USGS-Maps, Imagery and Publications

From the U.S. Geological Survey