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Geospatial Data: Data in the Library

This guide describes how to find and use the DREAM Lab's spatial data, as well as data that is available freely online.

LAN-hosted Data

Spatial data and scanned maps are shared on network drives in the DREAM Lab.  Some of this data is cataloged (see the following two boxes), but much is not.  The data is on two separate shares, but both are fully accessible for browsing to UCSB affiliates.

See the main website for more details about these collections.  And if you can't find what you are looking for, please do ask for assistance.

Please email us at for further inquiries into our GIS Data and scanned maps. 

Finding Data in UC Library Search

GIS data can be found in online data repositories, as mentioned above, on the free and open web, or on CD-ROMs and DVDs in the DREAM Lab. A search for GIS data in UCSB Library Search will mainly turn up the latter, and some Internet resources hosted by government agencies. You will want to search in the Library Catalog if you're looking for locally created data, data that the library has purchased, and older datasets. To more easily find these types of data in the catalog, you can limit your search to geospatial data as a subject and maps as a material type.

1) From the Library homepage (, click the "Advanced Search" link under the Library Search box.

Advanced Search


2) Let's say you want to search for all GIS data related to Santa Barbara in the DREAM Lab. Limit your search to "Resources in the Library". Use the drop-down box to search "Any Field" "exact phrase", then type "Geospatial data". On the following line, search for "Santa Barbara". Finally, be sure to limit the material type to "Maps".

Advanced Search


3) After you've found the GIS data you are looking for, you'll need to identify the call number to later access it in the DREAM Lab. The call number can found under the "Access Online" section.

image showing UC Library Search results that are "Access in UCSB Library DREAM Lab"

Accessing Data in the DREAM Lab

Any digital GIS data that you find in Library Search will have to be accessed in the DREAM Lab during open hours. You can also send an email to to make an appointment to come in before open hours. Please email us at for further inquiries into our GIS Data and scanned maps. 

1) If the data you are interested in is on a CD, give a DREAM Lab staff member the call number so they can make sure you get access to it. If the data you are looking for is part of the Open Data Collection (X: drive) or Data Collection (restricted to UCSB affiliates) (Y: drive), you can access the data from any DREAM Lab work station. More information about our network data collections can be found on our website.

network drives     folders

2) Since most of our network data collection is not described in Library Search, you can browse the contents of the folders in the DREAM Lab using a few guides for reference: one for MIL map call numbers and another for reading those call numbers.