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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.
  • IssueMap
    Upload tabular data and create a map.
  • Google Earth (requires download and installation of software)
    Beginners: check out tutorials on using Google Earth.
  • Google Maps and Google Maps App
  • OpenStreetMap
  • Bing Maps
  • Apple iOS Maps app


United States


  • WorldMap (Harvard University Center for Geographic Analysis)
    ​Searchable index of more than 2,700 maps, including projects large and small at various stages of development. Recommended:




  • Campus Plants (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)
    The University of Hawaiʻiat Mānoa 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. 


  • 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

  • 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.



  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.

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.