South Florida Ecological Services Field Office
Southeast Region


Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Header Divider

What is Geospatial Services?
  • Geospatial Data identifies and depicts geographic locations, boundaries and characteristics of features on the surface of the earth. Geospatial data includes geographic coordinates (e.g., Latitude and Longitude) to identify the location of earth’s features, and data associated to geographic locations; for example land survey data and land cover type data.

  • Geographic Information Systems is a system of hardware and software used for storage, retrieval, mapping, and analysis of geospatial data. Practitioners also regard the total GIS as including the operating personnel and the data that go into the system. Spatial features are stored in a coordinate system, which references a particular place on the earth. Descriptive attributes in tabular form are associated with the spatial features. Spatial data and associated attributes in the same coordinate system can then be layered together for mapping and analysis. GIS has many uses including scientific investigations, resource management, development planning, and web mapping applications.

  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is a space-based global navigation satellite system developed by the Department of Defense (DOD). GPS allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world. This technology has been widely utilized in natural resource and conservation management including locating invasive plant species, mapping new infrastructure on public lands, monitoring the movement of wildlife and aiding fire fighters to navigate to specific locations to protect valued resources.

  • Remote Sensing is the means to capture and measure a view of the earth from above at any point in time. Aerial photography and satellite imagery are the primary methods we use to image the lands and waters. Remote sensing can be used for numerous conservation applications including: showing impacts and changes over time, management activities and climate change research and management.


Downloading South Florida USFWS GIS Data

For data available from the South Florida Ecological Services Office (SFESO), click here:

Some of the data that we commonly use at the SFESO is part of the USFWS Nationwide GIS data component, specifically our critical habitat layers. To access nationwide downloadable critical habitat layers, click here:

Some of our other data sources include the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. For Florida Panther and Manatee data, click here:

If there is a specific data layer that you cannot find at any of these links, please send an email by clicking here and identify which item(s) you are looking for.

Last updated: November 23, 2020