This first week of the data sources series we are starting out with the Iowa NRGIS Library site. For many GIS users in Iowa this is one of the most familiar resources for GIS data in the state. The Iowa NRGIS Library has not only a wealth of natural resource information (hydrology, geology, elevation, agriculture, biological features, etc.) but also other layers including wind turbines, utilities, school districts, political boundaries and many more. Data is available on different geographic scales from statewide coverages to county coverages to regional and project-based coverages.
Two of my favorite features of this site are the Updates Page and the consistency of the datasets that appear on the website. The Updates Page provides a quick way for users to check for new files, files that have been deleted, and updates to existing files. This can either be viewed manually or by signing up for an RSS feed.
The consistency of the data on the Iowa NRGIS Library is fabulous. :) All the data is geo-referenced to the Universal Traverse Mercator (UTM), Zone 15, North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). Additionally all information posted must have a Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) compliant metadata record.
In addition to being a repository for the state's natural resource information this site also provides links to other GIS resources for you to explore. The Iowa NRGIS Library website is a great resource for Iowa data.