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Geospatial Resources for Architecture and Engineering Site Information: Home

This guide suggests online, database, and print resources for architectural and engineering students researching a specific location.

Subject Resources

Climate - Arizona State Climate Office


National Geologic Map Database Topo View  Access current and historic topographic maps.  Maps are available to view online and for free download.  Zoom into your area of interest, click on the map, and then go to Maps Here to see available maps .  Scales and publication dates vary.

USGS Map Locator and Downloader Free downloads of topographic maps are available from the U.S. Geological Survey.  Zoom and scroll to the needed  location in the map search box.  Select the Mark Points option to the right of the map. Click on the map in your area of interest.  Click on the red place marker to view the maps available for download.  Maps are also available for purchase via this list by clicking on the "buy" link.

Historic and  the most current available in print form at the ASU Libraries Map Collection.

Google Earth Library has map overlays of the most recent topographic maps for Arizona.

ArcGIS Explorer has topographic map layers. 


Soils - For soil maps of Moeur Park or San Tan Regional Park, see files listed at the bottom of this page.  For other study areas, use a USDA soil survey such as the Soil survey, eastern Maricopa and northern Pinal Counties area, Arizona.  Contains structural engineering information, along with some flora/fauna information associated with particular soils.  The text of this soil survey is available online.  GIS Soil Shapefiles that correspond to these soil surveys are available for the entire State of Arizona via the ASU GIS Data Repository (Under... AZ_Data_by_Topic\Natural_Features\Soils).  These Shapefiles can be converted to KML or CAD files using Esri's ArcMap's Toolbox Conversion Tools.  ASU Students, Faculty, Staff have access to ArcMap through MyASU MyApps or on computers in the ASU Libraries Map Collection.

Air Quality - Arizona Department of Environmental QualityAir monitoring plans and annual reports back to year 2000.


USGS Water Resources of Arizona

USGS Water Resources of the United States

USGS Groundwater depth - Interactive atlas of groundwater levels

USGS Water Data for the Nation - Surface water, groundwater, and water quality data and mapper for the U.S.

Water Resources Information Center  - From the University of Arizona.

Curriculum Guide for the Water Resources Poster

Watershed - Surf Your Watershed - EPA watershed profile for the lower Salt River.

Pollution - Pollution Locator - created by UC-Berkeley.

Shadow Direction and Length

United States Naval Observatory Sun Altitude and Azimuth Table Calculator  For a given day, provides the altitude of the sun (angle of the sun above the horizon) and the azimuth (Compass direction from where the is shining. Add or subtract 180 degrees to calculate the direction of the shadow.)

Sandburg Center for Sky Awareness - Shadow Length Calculator Calculates the length of an object's shadow base on the altitude of the sun.

Geology -

Arizona Geological Survey Geological and ground structure information is available online.

Geological maps are available at the Map Collection.

Flora and Fauna

Birds of North America

Map of Life Allows one to retrieve a list of species for the vicinity of any location worldwide.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) GIS data for Arizona - Contains a variety of shapefiles and coverages for ecological, habitat, mineral, and wildlife management areas within Arizona.  (Requires use of GIS software such as ArcGIS Explorer or ArcGIS.)

Historical Background

The Arizona Collection in Hayden Library Special Collections & Archives- view photographs and other historical materials on Arizona history in the Luhrs Reading Room (limited hours-check website).

Local History- see City of Tempe and Tempe History Museum websites to search subjects such as Loma Del Rio Archaeological Site, and WPA Structures.

Newspapers - Arizona Republic - limit search by data ranges.

Map Index- search for historic maps available in the ASU Libraries Map Collection.

Canal Maps,  Vegetation, Irrigated Land....

Library Catalog - search for books or thematic maps.

Canal Maps,  Vegetation, Irrigated Land....

Digital Sanborn Maps- maps of Tempe, select years from 1890 to 1927.


Aerial Photography

Maricopa County Historical Aerial Photography, 1930 to the present available through the Maricopa County Office of Enterprise Technology.

Landiscor Photo Atlases - 1970 to 2005.  Annual aerial photography and zoning information. Available in the ASU Libraries Map Collection.

Maricopa County Tax Assessor Aerial Photography - various years, 1986 to 1996 available in the Map Collection.

Arizona Imagery Server - Detailed aerial photography from 2005, 2007, and 2010.

GIS Resources

GIS Data Sources

EPA ArcGIS Server for water-related GIS data.  This is not a web browser url, but rather a an ArcGIS server address.  Lots of information available from office locations to scaled watersheds for the United States. watersgeo.epa.gov/ArcGIS/services/WC/WaterShedsWC  Can be used with ArcGIS Explorer.  Under "Add Content," select "Add GIS Services." Go to the WC folder for watershed information.

Custom Topographic Maps for ADE 521 and ANP 494

Soils and Geological Information for Moer Park and San Tan Mountain Park

Papago Park - AZ Geological Survey - Maps on the geology, cross-sections, landforms, flooding, historical groundwater, Caliche, and depths to river gravel.  Map extents include Moer Park.

Subject Guide

Arizona State University Library

ASU Libraries

Maps and Addresses

Federal Depository Library Program Emblem

Hours and Locations