Earth Data Links

These are links to data sources about the Earth, its resources, and how nations use its resources. They are based on those used in UCSB's Introduction to Oceanography class. The data browsers are mostly graphical plots and can be easily mastered by most students, whether they are science majors or not. The links to the Lamont oceanographic and environmental data pages have been simplified to allow students to immediately access interesting data with only minimal time spent learning the data browser's intricacies.

If you have a favorite link to Earth data that your students use, please use the comments, at the bottom of this page, to add it. Educators will appreciate it!

Updated: 9/11/2012

Country Information


CIA Factbook This is the first place you go to find a concise summary of basic facts about a country.
NationMaster A fantastic site that gives compilations and plots of statistics that compare countries and regions. This is a great site if you want to make graphs comparing economics, energy, etc of various countries. Great for Earth Summit comparisons.


Country maps for your writings

Library of Congress Great political and physical maps.
National Geographic This has much more than maps.
InfoPlease Atlas Another source of maps

Plate Tectonics

Note: the "LearningWithData Workshop" CDROM is an excellent resource for plate tectonics, with data, an image editor, slide shows, and suggested activities.

NOAA Natural Hazards Viewer Shows world map overlays of quakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and other natural hazards.
USGS Earthquakes Map Viewer Shows map overlays of quakes and other earthquake related data.

Global Ocean Properties Data


Global Ocean Data Viewer

This viewer displays ocean map and depth section data from the World Ocean Atlas 1998 and from the Lamont data server site. This viewer is the easy to use, and allows you to browse ocean data and save dataplot figures to your desktop. The viewer is included with the "Learning With Data" CDROM package.
PMEL "Live Access Server"

Ocean temperature, salinity, dissolved gases, precipitation and other global ocean data.
This site is very complete and easy to use. Select the data display parameters from the left column, then click "Update Plot" from the button at the top.

The data shown is "Climatological" data. This means that data are averaged over each month for all of the years measured. It is most useful for examining how te various parameters vary, on average, from month to month.

Lamont Climate Data Library  go directly to Levitus sea surface temp This has a large collection of data. You can click around, take the tutorial, and find a wide variety of information here. The IRI Maproom also has access to some useful data.
Lamont Data direct links:
These links are the best to use if you want the data that is indicated. They configure the Lamont data viewer to show the data in a useful format, without having to learn the Lamont interface.
Wind climatology
Wind monthly
Surface Barometric Pressure climatology
Surface Barometric Pressure monthly
Sea Surface Temp climatology
Sea Surface Temp Anomaly
Precipitation climatology
Precipitation, monthly 1971-1999
Temp and Precip plots for a location

Atmosphere Data

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) Carbon dioxide and fossil fuel use tables and other information
NOAA Climate Data Center Entry portal to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's vast climate data library.

Beaches, Waves and Coastline

Prof Sylvester's Santa Barbara Beaches Library Historical pictures of Santa Barbara's beaches spanning 41 years.
Coastal Data Information Program Data about coastal conditions, including waves. (wave models example)
Southern California Surf Conditions Surfing and weather information. Cool surf pics mixed with links to serious weather and ocean information sites.

Fisheries related

Multimedia Presentation on health of oceans This is a beautiful multi-media presentation about issues related to the health of the world's oceans. Be patient. It may take a while to load.
Monterey Bay Aquarium This site has many resources about sea life, taking action, and sustainability of seafood fisheries. Learning activities are also available.
Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory The "Live Access Server" that is linked here has the same browser limitations as the other LAS sites. Link to wind data images.

Environmental Policy

World Data Center for Human Interactions and the Environment A very interesting site.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics This site has a wealth of data about US energy consumption. When you get to the main page, you will link to what looks like reports. Click on the "html" link by each report to see it.
UN Population statistics Want facts and figures about over and under and mis-population? Here's the place.
Global Warming Impacts A great site that allows you to browse the impacts of global warming, around the world.

Environmental Performance Index

This site attempts to quantify the environmental performance of nations. If you are interested in sustainability, this is a MUST SEE!

CEISIN Environmental policy and sustainability information. Great source!

Center for International Earth Science Information Network (Environmental Performance Index Reports)


Learning Resources: