Welcome to the Harvard Geospatial Library

Search, discover, preview, and retrieve geospatial data from multiple repositories


There are two ways to search for data. The two methods can be used individually or combined for more effective search

  • Use basic or advanced search
  • Interact with the map to search for data by relevant geographic extent

Interacting with the map

  • Interacting with the map will perform a search for relevant data
  • Enter a place in the Find Place field to zoom to a location
  • Click the Zoom or Pan tool and drag the map with the mouse
  • Double-click to zoom in on an area
  • Hold down shift and click-drag a box to zoom to an area
  • Click on Basemap to set the background layer to OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, etc.


  • Click the Preview checkbox to preview the layer on the map from your search results or from your Cart
  • Expand the layer dropdown to access the preview controls
  • Click the attribute preview tool and click on a feature on the map to view its attributes


  • Click the Cart checkbox to add the selected layer to your Cart for download, additional preview, or to create web mapping services
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Welcome to the Harvard Geospatial Library

Enter a keyword and/or interact with the map to discover geospatial data

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The Harvard Geospatial Library is the main repository a catalog for geospatial data in the Harvard University Libraries. Originally developed in 2001 with an internal Library Digital Initiative grant as well as the generous support of the Rasmussen Foundation, HGL is now part of a broader multi-institutional project. The flagship site of this effort is Geodata@Tufts.

GeoData@Tufts is developed and maintained by Tufts University Information Technology. Tufts is leading the development in collaboration with Harvard of this open source, federated web application to rapidly discover, preview, and retrieve geospatial data from multiple repositories. GeoData@Tufts combines an intuitive, map-based search interface along with traditional text-based metadata search tools for rapid data discovery and for use in teaching, learning, and research.

GeoData@Tufts is part of The Open Geoportal. The Open Geoportal is a consortium comprised of contributions of several universities and organizations to help facilitate the discovery and acquisition of geospatial data across many organizations and platforms. Current partners include: Harvard, MIT, MassGIS, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale, and UConn. Built on open source technology, The Open Geoportal provides organizations the opportunity to share thousands of geospatial data layers, maps, metadata, and development resources through a single common interface.

For questions, comments, or to report problems, please contact: Site Manager

For questions, comments, or to report problems, please contact: Site Manager

Project Management:

Harvard University Library, Office for Information Systems

Welcome to the Harvard Geospatial Library (HGL)! We are happy to announce that as of 1/15/2012 we are live and have migrated to OpenGeoPortal. We will be making updates regularly.

Please zoom in and pan around with the map and/or enter search terms to begin discovering our geospatial data holdings.

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