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The Library's Geospatial Data Center


We provide assistance with several categories of data, and work to collect and maintain various datasets.

  • Open Data: websites, portals, and repositories that provide free data. We can assist you with finding and using these sources. Here are some basic suggestions for geospatial data, and guidance for working with US census data.
  • Proprietary: databases that the library subscribes to (portals where you log, then navigate) and datasets that we purchase (files that we store and can share), licensed for members of Brown. Here are some suggestions for data-oriented library databases.
  • Value-added: public datasets that we compile / augment / create and publish on our open data portal on GitHub.
  • Research-generated: we can refer you to the Open Sciences Librarian, who can provide recommendations for archiving your data.

Ocean State Spatial Database

The Ocean State Spatial Database (OSSDB) is a freely accessible geodatabase created by the GeoData@SciLi team, for conducting basic, contemporary geographic analysis and thematic mapping within the State of Rhode Island. It contains geographic features and data compiled from several public sources. A subset of the Census Bureau's TIGER/LINE water features were used to create a base map of coastal water, which was used to clip and create land-based areas for census geographies including counties, county subdivisions, census tracts, and ZCTAs. Census data from the 2020 Census and American Community Survey (ACS) are stored in tables that can be easily related to geographic features. Point data for public facilities like schools, libraries, and hospitals were gathered from several state and federal agencies and transformed into spatial data. The database is packaged in two formats (SQLite / Spatialite and ESRI File Geodatabase) which can be used in QGIS and ArcGIS Pro.