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Research Guides

Our Research Guides provide help on using the BTAA Geoportal as well as general finding aids for topical resources.

Using the BTAA Geoportal

BTAA Geoportal search strategies: Start here to learn how to search for resources in the BTAA Geoportal

Understanding metadata: This brief video tutorial defines what geospatial metadata is and how Geoportal users can locate and interact with it.

Citing geospatial data: This guide discusses data citation options and how to use the Cite widget in the BTAA Geoportal.

Licensed data: Most of the resources in the BTAA Geoportal are free and open, but we also include an index of licensed databases commonly accessed by researchers affiliated with a BTAA university. The Licensed Data research guide explains how to interpret those records and access the data.

Topical Guides

U.S. Census Data: Census data is available from many different sources, formats, and geographies. This guide describes the pros and cons of several sources as well as what types are available in the BTAA Geoportal.

Fire Insurance Maps: Fire insurance maps, including Sanborn Maps, are among the most commonly sought after items in the BTAA Geoportal. This guide explains how to find these resources and how to interpret their symbology.

Public Land Survey System (PLSS) Plats: There are thousands of PLSS plats in the BTAA Geoportal and this guide describes how to search for them and how to find their associated field notes.