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Interactive Maps/GIS

GIS and mapping is increasingly moving to the web/cloud and many services are being developed to let you make your own maps and perform basic GIS operations. Web Maps/GIS range from simple online maps to complex interactive systems allowing users to layer, track, analyze, visualize, and export spatial data. The sites listed in this guide are a small sampling of what's available. Some sites are worldwide general systems, some cover specific geographic areas, while others are thematic.

Global Systems

  • ArcGIS Online
    Free and fee web-based product with basic GIS capabilities. Allows import of personal data in limited formats. Web apps to present data and projects. Check out their Map Viewer, Gallery, and Scene (3D viewer) features and services.​
  • Mapbox
    Free and fee-based web map services. Excels at vector map services, CSS styling of maps, and completely web-based non-technical online map making. Creative solutions for small to enterprise projects and operations.
  • GeoCommons
    A Community Site for Open Data and Maps. Requires registration.
  • Google Earth (web, mobile, desktop)
    Beginners: check out tutorials on using Google Earth.
  • Google Maps and Google Maps App
  • Google Earth Engine
    "Google Earth Engine is a cloud computing platform for processing satellite imagery and other geospatial and observation data. It provides access to a large database of satellite imagery and the computational power needed to analyze those images. Google Earth Engine allows observation of dynamic changes in agriculture, natural resources, and climate using geospatial data from the Landsat satellite program, which passes over the same places on the Earth every sixteen days. Google Earth Engine has become a platform that makes Landsat and Sentinel-2 data easily accessible to researchers in collaboration with the Google Cloud Storage. Google Earth Engine provides a data catalog along with computers for analysis; this allows scientists to collaborate using data, algorithms, and visualizations. The platform provides Python and JavaScript application programming interfaces for making requests to the servers, and includes a graphical user interface for developing applications." -- Wikipedia
  • Soar 
    "Soar is the world's largest online atlas, and the home of maps on the internet. Our platform allows anyone in the world to view, upload, discover, and interact with an enormous library of high quality maps and images. We’re bringing together every map, satellite, and drone image that has ever existed, or will ever exist, in one place." -- Soar
  • Dynamic World
    "Near realtime 10m resolution global land use land cover dataset, produced using deep learning, freely available and openly licensed. It is the result of a partnership between Google and the World Resources Institute, to produce a dynamic dataset of the physical material on the surface of the Earth. Dynamic World is intended to be used as a data product for users to add custom rules with which to assign final class values, producing derivative land cover maps." -- Dynamic World
  • OpenStreetMap
  • Bing Maps
  • Apple iOS Maps app
  • Cesium
    A platform for 3D geospatial applications and storytelling.
    Open source geospatial analysis and visualization tool for large-scale data sets
  • Datasette

    Datasette is a tool for exploring and publishing data. It helps people take data of any shape, analyze and explore it, and publish it as an interactive website and accompanying API. Datasette is aimed at data journalists, museum curators, archivists, local governments, scientists, researchers and anyone else who has data that they wish to share with the world. It is part of a wider ecosystem of 40 tools and 99 plugins dedicated to making working with structured data as productive as possible.


United States






  • Campus Arboretum (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)
    The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus has an amazing collection of plants. Think of the university environment as a botanical garden. There are more than 6000 plants in over 700 species, some of which are represented by numerous distinct varieties. For more information, visit the Campus Arboretum website.
  • Harold L. Lyon Arboretum Interactive Map of the Grounds and Living Plant Collection (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)
    Lyon Arboretum is part of the University of Hawaiʻi and a public botanical garden. The arboretum has over seven miles of hiking trails and boasts more than 6,000 taxa of tropical and sub-tropical plants on our nearly 200 acres. It is our goal to make the living collection a valuable research tool and give our visitors a new way to interact with our unique collection of plants from all over the world. This map is a work in progress, and it will be updated regularly to reflect the addition of new and existing accessions and associated data.

Climate Maps and Data

  • by NOAA
    Sections include: News & Features a popular-style magazine for the science-interested public. Maps & Data a gateway to popular climate maps, tools, and datasets for users who are new to climate data. Teaching Climate offers learning activities, curriculum materials, multi-media resources, and professional development opportunities for formal and informal educators. The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit,'s sister site, serves policy makers, professionals, and others facing climate-related decisions.
  • Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CRMA)
    Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) integrates information from across the federal government to help people consider their local exposure to climate-related hazards. People working in community organizations or for local, Tribal, state, or Federal governments can use the site to help them develop equitable climate resilience plans to protect people, property, and infrastructure. The site also points users to Federal grant funds for climate resilience projects, including those available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Climate Resilience Toolkit (by
    Steps to Resilience, Case Studies, Tools, Expertise, Regions, and Topics
  • HEAT,
    Heat related illnesses and death are largely preventable with proper planning, education, and action. serves as the premier source of heat and health information for the nation to reduce the health, economic, and infrastructural impacts of extreme heat. is the web portal for the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS).
  • Sea Level Rise Viewer (NOAA)
    Includes sea level rise, local scenarios, mapping confidence, marsh migration, vulnerability, and high tide flooding.
  • Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper (NOAA)
    This online visualization tool supports communities that are assessing their coastal hazard risks and vulnerabilities. The tool creates a collection of user-defined maps that show the people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding. The maps can be saved, downloaded, or shared to communicate flood exposure and potential impacts.
  • State of Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Viewer (PACIOOS)

    The Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Viewer (Viewer) is intended to provide an online atlas to support the Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report (Report) that was mandated by Act 83, Session Laws of Hawaiʻi (SLH) 2014 and Act 32, SLH 2017. Please visit the Hawaiʻi Climate Change Portal website to view the full report and for more information on climate mitigation and adaptation. The Viewer is intended to provide map data depicting projections for future hazard exposure and assessing economic and other vulnerabilities due to rising sea levels.

Communication, Networks, Commerce, Trade, and Transportation


  • The Council on Foreign Relations's Center for Preventive Action (CPA) maintains a Global Conflict Tracker -- an interactive guide to ongoing conflicts around the world of concern to the United States. The map displays nearly thirty conflicts with background information and resources on each conflict.


  • Honolulu Police Department Crime Map (HPD map overview/statistics)
    The crime-type categories include: Arson, Assault, Burglary, Disturbing the Peace, Drugs / Alcohol Violations, DUI, Fraud, Homicide, Motor Vehicle Theft, Robbery, Sex Crimes, Theft / Larceny, Vandalism, Vehicle Break-In / Theft, Weapons.


  • Hawaii 2011-2015 ACS 5-year Estimates by Census Tracts & Legislative Districts
    Population and Housing Characteristics, State of Hawaii, By Census Tracts: 2011-2015.
  • Native Hawaiian Community Profiles
    Map shows 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) data by Census Tract. Census Tracts cover all land area and have fairly stable boundaries over time. For this time period, 136 out of the total 351 Census Tracts have Native Hawaiian population data (as defined by Census code 062-Native Hawaiian alone or in combination).
  • SocialExplorer 
    Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information. The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and reports to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change.


  • Electricity Maps

    The Electricity Maps company provides organizations and governments with actionable data quantifying how carbon intensive electricity is on an hourly basis across 50+ countries. The data can be accessed historically, in real time, or as a forecast for the next 24 hours. You can also explore the real time data on the Electricity Maps app. For personal, non-commercial, and educational projects, there is an API that allows you to access a restricted amount of data for free.


  • AirNow, Interactive Map of Air Quality (Environmental Protection Agency)
    Every day the Air Quality Index (AQI) tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is, along with associated health effects that may be of concern. The AQI translates air quality data into numbers and colors that help people understand when to take action to protect their health. Consult AirNow's Homepage and About page for more information.
  • Air Quality Map (PurpleAir)
    The PurpleAir Map displays the points using the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index (AQI) scale. PurpleAir is a grassroots group (LLC) with a technical background that wanted to measure the pollution coming from a mining operation. The website and map was started in November 2015. Sharing the data and research with others created a need for more monitors, to expand the network and to test the sensors by collocating them with other monitors.
  • AirVisual Earth and AirVisual Map (IQAir)
    AirVisual was founded in 2015 and now part of IQAir. AirVisual provides an air pollution app and free access to their air quality database, spanning 10000+ locations globally. The app and AirVisual website offer a 7-day pollution forecast.
  • EnviroAtlas (Environmental Protection Agency - Guide)
    EnviroAtlas interactive tools allow users to discover, analyze, and download data and maps related to ecosystem services, or the benefits people receive from nature.  Ecosystem services underpin most aspects of human well-being, including water, security, and the economy. 
  • EWG (Environmental Working Group) Maps
    The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. EWG provides reports, online databases, mobile apps and communications campaigns to help consumers to make safer and more informed decisions about potentially dangerous chemical ingredients, the products they buy, and the companies they support. 


  • Global Fishing Watch Map
    SkyTruth is the operator and lead developer of Global Fishing Watch, a partnership with Oceana and Google to map all of the trackable commercial fishing activity in the world, in near-real time, and make it accessible to researchers, regulators, decision-makers, and the public. Using cloud computing, machine-learning, and vessel location data picked up by satellite, SkyTruth has developed a tool that will encourage transparency and scientific research. Global Fishing Watch was launched in Washington, DC, in September, 2016 and is now freely available to everyone with an internet connection.

Flood Maps

  • Global Flood Database
    The Global Flood Database combines over 15 years of flood data to create the first comprehensive satellite-based resource for global flood risk management and mitigation. Jump to the interactive map.
  • FEMA Flood Map Service Center
    Current and historical flood maps for the United States. The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer (kmz layer for use with Google Earth)
    Download the latest "Stay Dry" or "FEMA NFHL" kmz files and open using Google Earth. The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) dataset represents the current effective flood data for the country, where maps have been modernized. It is a compilation of effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) databases and Letters of Map Change (LOMCs). The NFHL is updated as studies go effective.


  • Global Hazards Atlas (Pacific Disaster Center)
    Provides access to the PDC's DisasterAWAREsystem's trustworthy near real-time and historical data on natural hazards around the globe—including tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, wildfires, and more.
  • Natural Hazards Viewer - Tsunamis, Earthquakes, and volcanoes (NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information)
    NCEI and the co-located World Data Service for Geophysics compile a unique set of tsunami-related products as part of a continuing program to support the interests of tsunami warning centers, engineers, oceanographers, seismologists, and the general public
  • Wildfires Map (Northwest United States)
    Real-time wildfires map. Data is updated every 30 minutes.


  • Hate Map (Southern Poverty Law Center)
    Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports. Groups that appear in the center of states represent statewide groups.


Indigenous Studies

  • Native Land. Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. It is designed to be Indigenous-led, with an Indigenous Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization. For a fuller explanation of the map and language resources, consult the Native Land Resources page.


  • The Endangered Languages Project (Alliance for Linguistic Diversity)
    A worldwide collaboration to strengthen endangered languages. The project serves as an online resource for samples and research on endangered languages as well as a forum for advice and best practices. The catalog contains information on over 3400 languages.
  • Ethnologue
    Over 7,000 languages. Profiles for every language and country on earth. Maps of where each language is spoken.
  • Glottolog
    Comprehensive reference information for the world's languages, especially the lesser known languages. Information about the different languages, dialects, and families of the world ('languoids') is available in the Languages and Families sections. Shows maps of languages.
  • Langscape (University of Maryland, Maryland Language Science Center)
    Displays point locations for languages based on Glottolog. A gateway to explore and learn about 7,000 languages around the globe. Find texts, sound recordings, materials for teaching and learning, references, and tools.
  • Native Land. Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. It is designed to be Indigenous-led, with an Indigenous Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization. For a fuller explanation of the map and language resources, consult the Native Land Resources page.


  • Radio Garden
    An interactive map that lets you tune into any one of thousands of radio stations all over the world in real time. An article in The Atlantic explains the creation of the interactive map.


  • Global Terrorism Database
    The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) is an open-source database including information on domestic and international terrorist attacks around the world from 1970 through 2019, and now includes more than 200,000 cases. For each event, information is available on the date and location of the incident, the weapons used and nature of the target, the number of casualties, and–when identifiable–the group or individual responsible.

Trails and Hiking

  • Nā Ala Hele Trail & Access Program
    Ala Hele is the State of Hawaiʻi Trail and Access Program. It was established in 1988 in response to public concern about the loss of public access to certain trails and the threat to historic trails from development pressure. Ala Hele has become increasingly engaged in trail management and regulatory issues due to both public and commercial recreational activities and emerging legal issues. Ala Hele is administered by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife – Department of Land and Natural Resources.