The Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) is an consortium promoting the interests of Rhode Island's geospatial community. This group of government and private organizations promotes the use of the latest technology as a means for managing and utilizing a comprehensive database of geographically-related (geospatial) information. The mission of RIGIS is to monitor, coordinate, and provide leadership for activities relating to the use of GIS technology within Rhode Island, to support initiatives that implement or use GIS technology, and to provide easy access to an extensive database of geospatial data for the state. By making this comprehensive collection of geospatial data widely available, RIGIS has become a leader in the United States as an open geospatial data clearinghouse.

Through the promotion of a geographic information system (GIS), RIGIS is able to encourage individuals, private businesses, local and state government, K-12 institutions, and colleges and universities to invest in a staff with GIS expertise, the required technology (hardware and software) as a means for enhancing decision-making through the utilization of land-related information such as that provided by RIGIS. When used successfully, GIS can capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present all spatially related data in a variety of ways for any number of disciplines. 

About This Website

The RIGIS data distribution system is hosted and maintained by the University of Rhode Island Environmental Data Center.


The icons indicating the type of GIS data available for download from this website are used with the permission of the Montana Geographic Information Clearinghouse.

RIGIS History

The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) started the precursor to the RIGIS in 1985. He did so by initiating an agreement between that state agency and the University of Rhode Island (URI) to establish a GIS for the management and analysis of environmental data in Rhode Island. The RI Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the RI Statewide Planning Program, and the RI Solid Waste Management Corporation (now RI Resource Recovery Corporation) joined this effort shortly thereafter, each supporting the concept of a unified, centrally managed spatially related data base. Overall coordination was accomplished through an informal committee of top level management from each of these five organizations meeting on an ad hoc basis. Technical management of the data base resided at the University of Rhode Island. The RIDEM provided all funding for operations at the Environmental Data Center (URI/EDC) at the University through 1989.

The RIDEM provided a system coordinator from within that agency until 1989. This person organized GIS related activities within RIDEM, and acted as a staff liaison person, primarily between the RIDEM and the URI/EDC. The coordinator also provided staff support for an ad hoc inter-agency management committee. The Solid Waste Management Corporation funded the system coordinator from 1989 through 1991 using a contracted consultant to fill this role. This coordinator was supported by staff and facilities at the Department of Administration's Division of Planning. Duties included liaison functions between the four state agencies, (RIDEM, RIDOT, RISWMC and RIDOA-DOP), and the University of Rhode Island, as part of staff support functions for the RIGIS Executive Committee, the successor to the previous ad hoc group. In 1991, a GIS Manager position was established at the RIDOA, Division of Planning. This person was funded from within that Division's operating budget and assumed the duties of the RIGIS Coordinator. Responsibilities were expanded to include administration of the data distribution system, and liaison among public and private sector organizations with interests in GIS and related technologies.

From the beginning of development of GIS in Rhode Island in 1985, each of the primary four state government organizations involved supported their own internal GIS efforts. Similar methods for internal operations were employed at the Environmental Data Center at the URI. Funding through grants on specific projects from the agencies assisted in the development and operations of the EDC Laboratory. This included the purchase of computer hardware and software, the assignment of operating personnel, and funding for data development for information applicable to each agencies' or institution's needs. Realizing the benefits of a collective informational source, these organizations contributed their data into a common RIGIS database. Early on, the Rhode Island office of the USDA/SCS (now NRCS) and the Narragansett Bay Project also significantly contributed to the data base development effort. Initially the RIGIS database was housed at the Environmental Data Center at URI. Until 1991 the EDC/URI used internal staff to perform data base management functions including assimilation of data, cataloging and distribution. The staff positions were funded through contractual arrangements with the RIDEM and by grants awarded by the RISWMC. Due to shortfalls at the RIDEM in 1990 and 1991, the University was forced to contribute funds from its own budget to partially support this effort. The URI/EDC ceased data base management functions in 1991, and these responsibilities were, by default, assumed by the RIGIS Coordinator at Statewide Planning. At that time, all external data distribution duties were also shifted to the Division of Planning.

Legislative Establishment

In 1990, legislation was introduced and passed by the state legislature to modify and amend the General Laws of Rhode Island to include language pertaining to a state wide geographic information system. Chapter 42-11-2-(v) which is focused on the RI Department of Administration now states that the Department shall have the powers and duties to "devise, formulate, promulgate, supervise and control a comprehensive and coordinated statewide information system"...that ..."may include a Rhode Island geographic information system". Under Chapter 42-11-10-(f)-(6) pertaining to the Statewide Planning Program, the State Planning Council will "establish and appoint members to an executive committee consisting of major participants of a Rhode Island geographic information system with oversight responsibility for its activities." This Chapter also states "In order to ensure the continuity of the maintenance and functions of the geographic information system, the general assembly may annually appropriate such sum as it may deem necessary to the department of administration for its support." Furthermore, this Chapter states under 42-11-10-(g)-(3) that "the Division of Planning shall manage and administer the Rhode Island geographic information system of land related resources, and shall coordinate these efforts with other state departments and agencies, including the University of Rhode Island, which shall provide technical support and assistance in the development and maintenance of the system and its associated data base."

The same legislative package added language to the General Laws for the University of Rhode Island under Chapter 16-32-30 whereby, the University was "authorized and empowered to establish in connection with the University and within the Department of Natural Resource Sciences a geographic information system laboratory with suitable facilities for developing and maintaining a level of scientific and technical expertise in the use of computer technology in the management of land-related natural resources. This will include maintaining a statewide data base of land related economic, physical, cultural, and natural resources and providing for controlled access of this data base to the university community; other state, municipal and federal departments and agencies; and the general public...The University shall cooperate with and provide technical assistance to the Division of Planning of the Department of Administration in the management of the statewide geographic information system and shall advise other state, municipal and federal departments and agencies and the general public in its use." A separate section addresses the University's authorization to fund the GIS laboratory under 16-32-31. Appropriations for geographic information system laboratory. - "The general assembly may annually appropriate such sum as it may deem necessary for maintaining the geographic information system laboratory within the department of natural resource sciences, and the state controller is hereby authorized and directed to draw his or her orders upon the general treasurer for the payment of said sum, or so much thereof as may from time to time be required, upon receipt by the controller of properly authenticated vouchers."

Data Distribution Policy

The following Data Distrubution Policy, written in September of 2014, replaces the original 1989 RIGIS License Agreement.

Background Information

Since its inception in 1985, the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) consortium has served as the custodian and distributor for a collective database that now represents more than 175 individual geospatial datasets and data collections.

A data license agreement was implemented by RIGIS in 1989. The intent of this agreement was to help protect the intellectual property of those who contributed data to RIGIS for publication and distribution, as well as to limit liability from potential misuse of these data.

In recognition of open data distribution policies now encouraged by both federal and state government, the RIGIS Executive Committee decided to retire the RIGIS license agreement (view the proclamation). Effective September 1, 2014, the RIGIS license agreement was superseded by the following open data distribution policy:

RIGIS Data Distribution Policy

All data distributed by RIGIS are provided 'as is.' The producer(s) of these data, contributors to these data, the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) consortium, the State of Rhode Island, and the University of Rhode Island do not make any warranties of any kind for these data, and are not liable for any loss or damage however and whenever caused by any use of these data.

Please acknowledge both RIGIS and the primary producer(s) of these data in any derived products. Versions of the RIGIS logo suitable for both printed and web-based products are available at our logo depot.

Data Distribution Policy Implementation

With the September 2015 launch of this new RIGIS website, the previous 1989 license agreement has been phased out. Please rest assured that any data obtained via RIGIS are now shared under this new open data distribution policy, not the license agreement.

If you would like to view the previous license agreement, please reference the FAQ page.


RIGIS Executive Committee

The Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) Executive Committee provides policy guidance, oversight, and coordination of the collective efforts of organizations in Rhode Island using GIS technology. It seeks to coordinate data development, adopt technical standards, set distribution policy for GIS products, promote the use of GIS, and provide information and assistance to users. The Committee does not have authority over RIGIS participants but reaches decisions by consensus. Quarterly meetings are held throughout the year.

The RIGIS Coordinator at the Rhode Island Department of Administration/Statewide Planning Program provides staff support and acts as liaison for RIGIS within the state, the northeast region, and nationally. Member and partner organizations also contribute, particularly by working conjunction with individual RIGIS Executive Committee Working Groups. The Committee is not funded as a separate unit of state government. 

Items Acted Upon Include:

- Review & update of the data distribution system.
- Formulation of a strategic plan for RIGIS.
- Monitoring state, regional and national GIS activities.
- Participation in a regional data clearinghouse.
- Advise development of a state metadata clearinghouse.
- Acquisition of new data sets for Rhode Island.

The most up-to-date list of RIGIS Executive Committee members currently available can be found here.

Past and upcoming RIGIS Executive Committee meeting agendas are available from the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.

RIGIS Documents & Standards

The Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) Executive Committee works to develop standards to assist organizations who are developing geospatial data, maintains minutes of its meetings, and offers other useful documents to RIGIS participants and the general public.

- RIGIS Strategic Management Plan (FY2017 to FY2021)
- Geographic Information System Standard for Digital Parcel Data Sets
- Rhode Island Comprehensive Planning Standards - Guidance Handbook #15: Mapping for Comprehensive Plans

- RIGIS Newsletter: Summer 2015

- Rhode Island Municipal GIS and Parcel Status Map
- Rhode Island Municipal GIS Zoning Status Map
- RIGIS Newsletter: Fall 2014
- RIGIS License Agreement Retirement Proclamation
- RIGIS Newsletter: Spring 2014
- RIGIS Exeuctive Committee Membership List

- RIGIS Initiative to Promote and Foster GIS Internships in RI
- Five Year Extension - Memorandum of Understanding between the RIGIS Executive Committee and the Rhode Island Board of Registration for Professional Land Surveyors
- RIGIS Executive Committee Membership List

- RIGIS Executive Committee Membership List
- RIGIS Strategic Management Plan (FY2012 to FY2016)
- State of Rhode Island Enterprise GIS System Architecture
- Two Year Extension - Memorandum of Understanding between the RIGIS Executive Committee and the Rhode Island Board of Registration for Professional Land Surveyors

- RIGIS Executive Committee Membership List
- One Year Trial - Memorandum of Understanding between the RIGIS Executive Committee and the Rhode Island Board of Registration for Professional Land Surveyors

- 2007 Annual Report (includes Executive Committee minutes from 2007)

- 2006 Annual Report (includes Executive Committee minutes from 2006)
- State of Rhode Island Enterprise GIS Business Plan

- RIGIS Strategic Management Plan (FY2005 - FY2010)

- 2005 Annual Report (includes Executive Committee minutes from 2005)
- RIGIS Executive Committee Membership List

- RIGIS Parcel Standards

RIGIS User Group Presentation Archive

The RIGIS User Group is an informal professional group that meets quarterly to learn from presenters, and to share ideas and information with fellow colleagues. The user group represents a wide range of interests and backgrounds, ranging from businesses, government, nonprofit, and education.

The user group is currently following an organizational model of having the host organization arrange for meeting space and logistics for each quarterly meeting. The host is also encouraged to solicit speakers, and is helped with this by the RIGIS Coordinator and fellow colleagues. Communication between meetings is encouraged by using the RIGIS-L email listserv.

Upcoming meetings are listed in the event calendar. All are welcome to attend! Please contact Vincent Flood, interim RIGIS Coordinator, with any questions regarding the user group.

Presentation Archive

December 1, 2016

Using GIS to Comply with Phase II Storm Water Program Requirements - Carol Baker, Town of South Kingstown
Bringing GIS Into the Design World and Back Again - Deb Landi, GZA
Stormwater System Structure Maintenance Using the Collector App - Maria Giarrusso, City of Cranston
Apps for Maps & Accessibility - Michael Funaro, Latitude Geographics
MS4 Stormwater Permitting Panel Discussion

June 6, 2014

The Road Not Taken - Route Finding Help for Emergency Responders and Evacuees - Michele Giorgianni, AppGeo
Surveying Archaeological Sites Damaged by Hurricane Sandy along the Coastlines of Southern Rhode Island - Jane Miller & Jay Waller, Public Archaeology Laboratory
Shelter Island, NY's Event and Post-Event Tool Set for Hurricane Sandy - Mike Doyle, Hilltop Northeast Enterprises
Using SLOSH to Model Storm Surge Vulnerability for Coastal Communities - Rachel Shmookler, RPS
RI Transportation Assets Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise - Christina Delage Baza, RI Statewide Planning Program

March 3, 2014

Supporting Community Policing with GIS - Dan Clement, City of Providence
Utilizing GIS in Emergency Management - Jess Stimson, RI Emergency Management Agency
Fire Department Response Times and Run Orders - Maria Giarrusso, City of Cranston

November 14, 2013

IGNITE Spatial Newport

Artificial Reef Site Selection Modeling - Kevin Ruddock, The Nature Conservancy
Oh, the PlacesYou'll Go! - Paul Jordan, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
ArcGIS Online at National Grid: Integrated Mapping Applications Portal - Jeff Pires, National Grid
Coastal Planning in the Age of Superstorms: Coastal and Subaqueous Soil Mapping in Rhode Island - Maggie Payne, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Modeling Select Cold, Cool, and Warm Water Fish on lake Ontario - Barbara J. McKay Archibald, Pennsylvania State University
GIS Holds the Keys to the Future of Land Surveying - Ed O'Brien, Rhode Island Society of Professional Land Surveyors
Let's Address Addresses! - Michele Giorgianni, AppGeo
South Kingstown's Mobile iPad Infrastructure Inspection Application - Carol Baker, Town of South Kingstown, RI
Elegant Simplicity: The Ideal Web Map - Marie Esten, Loon Environmental
Humans, Technology, and the Need for Common Sense - Justin Jobin, Town of Jamestown, RI
State Water Interactive Map (SWIM) Viewer: A Public Notification System - Amie Parris, Rhode Island Department of Health
Google Earth: Tools for Surveyors and Engineers - Wayne Kelloway, Eastern Topographics

August 14, 2012

Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Data (HIFLD) Working Group - Jeff Barrett, New England Information Exchange Broker
Connecticut Geospatial Information Systems Council Storm Response and Recovery Assessment Group Findings Report - Jeff Bolton (State of Connecticut, Dept. of Construction Services), Meg McGaffin (City of Milford, CT), Aaron Nash (City of Hartford, CT), and Eric Snowden (Connecticut Capitol of Governments)

May 7, 2012

IGNITE Spatial Providence

Combining Municipal Parcel, Health Department Lead Exposure, and Lead Law Compliance Data to Gauge the Problem and Target Intervention - Jim Lucht, The Providence Plan
Adding Place to a Water Quality Project in Cambodia (WaterForCambodia.org) - Chris Stanton, US Air National Guard
Careful with What You Create (Adventures of Mobile Development for Southington, CT) - Marwin Gonzalez, New England GeoSystems
What's New in ArcGIS Online - Al Frauenfelder, Esri
Rhody Archeology - Jane Miller, Public Archeology Laboratory
A Tale of Two Spatial Data Sets - Michele Giorgianni, Applied Geographics
Preliminary Work in Determining Rates and Drivers of Agricultural Intensification in Mato Grosso, Brazil - Stephanie Spera, Brown University
Using SLAMM to Predict Future Salt Marsh Habitat - Kevin Ruddock, The Nature Conservancy
Surveyors / GIS – Different Sides of the Same Coin - Ed O'Brien, RI Society of Professional Land Surveyors
Protecting Rhode Island's Biodiversity in the Context of Climate Change - Pete August, University of Rhode Island
Advancing the Analysis Potential of Topographic Maps in the Digital World - Pete Steeves, US Geological Survey
A Land Cover/Use Collision Course: Pressures of Agricultural Development and Land Protection in Tanzania - Marc Mayes, Brown University

August 4, 2009

Rhode Island Cesspool Phaseout Legislation to Implementation - Paul Jordan, RI Department of Environmental Management
RIDOT GIS Activities - Stephen Kut,  RI Department of Transportation
What's New: RIGIS Data Clearinghouse - Greg Bonynge, University of Rhode Island Geospatial Extension Program


RIGIS Brochure


For comments and questions about RIGIS
policy and coordination issues:

Vincent Flood - Supervising Planner
Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program


For comments and questions about the RIGIS database
and the content of this website, please contact:

Erica Tefft - RIGIS Data Manager
University of Rhode Island


Stay in touch with RIGIS on our listserv!

Please give us your feedback! Take our brief survey to let us know how our website is serving you.

What are geospatial data?


1. of or relating to the relative position of things on the earth's surface
2. pertaining to the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on, above, or below the earth's surface; especially referring to data that is geographic or spatial in nature.

All data available for download from RIGIS is tied to real locations throughout the state of Rhode Island, and represent either natural or manmade features that can be found within our state. Some of the data available for download also represent what could happen sometime int he future; the scaled Sea Level Rise data is a great example of this type of "predictive" geospatial data.




How do I use this website?

This site is divided into three sections - Data, Maps, and Information.

The Data page catalogs RIGIS data into numerous common-sense categories, such as "Biology and Ecology", "Hydrology", and "Transportation", making it easy to search and download. Each dataset is accompanied by a brief description within these larger categories, however each dataset also has it's own more detailed description that can be accessed by clicking the dataset title. This description page will allow easy sharing of datasets as these page URLs will remain constant as a dataset is updated. The majority of data is available as Esri shapefiles, which are supported by most opensource GIS software.

The Maps page provides links to web resources from government, non-profit and private organizations boasting pre-made paper maps or web-based mapping applications. Using the "Filter by Category" on the right side of the page, users can sort these resources by a variety of useful topics, such as parcels, static maps, recreation and dynamic maps, helping to sort through the myriad of resources available. The Maps page is ideal for anyone interested in viewing or using maps, but who don't have access to GIS software.

The Information page provides users with information about RIGIS, information on how to get in touch with us, a detailed FAQ, and lots of other useful resources for the GIS (and non-GIS) community. Under the Contact Us portion of the website, you will find a quick survey form that can be used to provide feedback on the website, our data, or can be used as a way to provide suggestions on how this site can be improved for you.

To quickly search and find data, or maps use the Search bar located at the bottom of the page. Type in any keyword, such as "sea level rise" and all relevant information on the site will be returned. This makes it much easier to search through our 200 vector datasets and over 20 imagery, LiDAR and base map collections.


If I have a question about a specific dataset, who should I contact first?

For questions pertaining to specific datasets, please first contact the Point of Contact (PoC) listed in the metadata record under the “Identification Information” section for that dataset. The person listed as the PoC will have the most comprehensive knowledge about that dataset.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact Erica Tefft, the RIGIS Data Manager, at erica@edc.uri.edu or at 401-874-5054 with any questions, comments or concerns.

What projection does RIGIS use for its data?

RIGIS uses the Rhode Island State Plane (feet) North American Datum of 1983 projected coordinate system, unless otherwise specified. See below for projection details from Esri's ArcMap.

What are the horizontal units of the data I downloaded?

Typically, units are in feet due to the projection used by RIGIS. This may not be the case if another projection is specified (see FAQ regarding projections on RIGIS).

Are parcel data available on RIGIS?

No, parcel data requests must be made directly to the municipality in question. There are three options for finding parcel data:

1) Select the appropriate municipality from our Municipal GIS Resources page.

2) Visit our Maps section and use the "Filter by Category" to filter by "parcel". This will display all municipalities where parcel data is available. A link directly to the municipal GIS website is also provided.

3) Search for a town using the Search function at the bottom of the page. This will bring up the information on the town GIS website, available from our Maps section.

Are voting districts (precincts) available on RIGIS?

At this time, no municipal voting district or precinct data are available via RIGIS.  

Those who are interested in obtaining these data must contact each municipality individually with such requests. For a list of options on accessing municipal data, please reference the parcel FAQ.

What are all of those files contained within a shapefile (SHP) .ZIP?

An ArcMap Shapefile (SHP) consists of 6-8 different individual files (.cpg, .dbf, .prj, . sbn, .sbx, .shp, .shx, .xml). These will all have the same file name and need to be located with the Shapefile in the same directory.

Mandatory Files
       - .shp: the feature geometry
       - .shx: a positional index of the feature geometry contained with the .shp
       - .dbf: attribute information

Other Files
       - .prj: coordinate system and projection information
       - .sbn & .sbx: a spatial index of features
       - .cpg: used in conjunction with the .dbf
       - .xml: metadata, usually in the FGDC metadata format, although there are other formats

What is a .ZIP file?

A .ZIP file is a compressed binary file format that utilizes lossless data compression. .ZIP files were developed to expedite file transfers, and to serve as an archive file format. A .ZIP file will contain one or more individual files within it.

How can I stay up-to-date on happenings in the RIGIS user community?

There are a few ways to stay up to date with the RIGIS user community!

         1) Join our email listserv RIGIS-L - this is great way to stay in touch with happenings within the RIGIS user community.

         2) Add the RIGIS Event Calendar to your Google Account!

         3) Follow us on Twitter at @RIGIS

How do I access map & image services featuring RIGIS data through ArcMap?

To access Map & Image services in ArcMap, follow the following instructions:

1) Click the arrow next to the Add Data button to expand the menu.

2) Select Add Data from ArcGIS Online...

3) In the search bar, type in RIGIS. This will display all available map and image services hosted by the University of Rhode Island Environmental Data Center. To get more details about an item, click Details; to add to your ArcMap document, click Add.

NOTE: Services containing authoritative RIGIS data will be posted by the account URIEDC_RIGIS. Please look for this when selecting data.


Can I connect to RIGIS services via an ArcGIS Server Connection?

Yes, you can! Follow the instructions below to establish a connection with RIGIS services.

First, open ArcCatalog and scroll down to the "GIS Servers" area of your Catalog Tree. Double click on "Add ArcGIS Server"; within the dialog box that opens, select the option to "Use GIS Services". On the next dialog, copy and paste in the following link - https://maps.edc.uri.edu/arcgis - into the line for Server URL and click "Finish.

This is a great way to connect to RI Digital Atlas map services featuring RIGIS data.

How do I efficiently download many tiles of imagery data?

To download imagery in bulk, utilize a bulk download tool such as DownloadThemAll!

How do you recommend citing data obtained from RIGIS within an academic paper or professional report?

Use of a professional or academic publication standard is encouraged, such as the ASPRS Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS) standard.

Using this format as an example, a citation for an individual RIGIS dataset might follow this example:

RIGIS, 2015. Rhode Island Senate Districts; senateDist13r2. Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) Data Distribution System, URL: http://www.rigis.org, Environmental Data Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island (last date accessed: 18 August 2015).

And a citation for the collective RIGIS online database might be:

RIGIS, 2015. Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) Data Distribution System. URL: http://www.rigis.org, Environmental Data Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island (last date accessed: 18 August 2015).

Can I get official RIGIS logos to use on my maps?

You've found the RIGIS Logo Depot, intended to be one-stop shopping for your RIGIS logo needs. Below you will find graphics appropriate for web and print use, graphical usage guidelines, and the original vector artwork in case none of the images suit your needs.

Reminder: your usage of RIGIS data is must abide by the terms of the RIGIS license agreement, which includes acknowledging RIGIS as a data source. This is commonly accomplished by including the RIGIS logo in your publication, or using text to simply list RIGIS as a source.


GIF Format (200 pixels wide x 72 pixels high; transparent background)

GIF Format (1000 x 360; transparent background)

PNG (1000 x 360; contains vector data usable by Adobe/Macromedia Fireworks)

AI 7 Format (1000 x 360; contains vector data usable by Adobe Illustrator 7+)

ESRI Shapefile & accompanying ArcGIS 9.3 layer file (zip)

How do I view MrSID images?

MrSID (Multiresolution Seamless Image Database; *.sid) is a proprietary image format owned by LizardTech. This format is known for its capacity to greatly reduce (compress) image file sizes, with only minor sacrifices to image quality when compared to the traditional GeoTIFF format.

After downloading a MrSID formatted image from RIGIS, you may need to install some software to view the file. If you are not a GIS user, our recommended viewer is either GeoViewer (standalone software for Windows) or the ExpressView Browser Plug-in for Windows, or GeoViewer for iOS, both available from LizardTech. These software perform well, and also may be used to view the MrSID compressed images RIGIS distributes.

Please email us if you find other useful, free software that display MrSID formatted images!

Users are encouraged to explore the offerings available in the RI Digital Atlas; this online atlas hosts viewable web maps of all our historical imagery collections (and much more!). Using the services provided by the RI Digital Atlas is a great way to incorporate historical imagery into your ArcGIS Online or ArcMap document.

What is the difference between a GeoTIFF and a JPEG2000 (JP2)?

A GeoTIFF is a lossless geospatial file format, typically resulting in large file sizes.

A JPEG2000 (JP2) is a geospatial file format available as either lossy or lossless, and offers highly compressed file sizes.

What is the 1989 license agreement that has been phased out?

THIS AGREEMENT is made by and between the URI Foundation, Kingston, RI, 02881, hereinafter called "Licensor" and the client identified on the reverse, hereinafter called "Licensee."Whereas, the Licensor has been designated as the agent for the Rhode Island Board of Governor's for Higher Education, hereinafter called "Board" which owns intellectual property rights including copyrights, of computer software and data produced by employees and agents of the University of Rhode Island, hereinafter called "URI;" and


Whereas, agencies of the State of Rhode Island working in cooperation of URI have formed a consortium known as the Rhode Island Geographic Information System hereinafter called "RIGIS", and this consortium has assisted in the development of computer software and data, hereinafter called the RIGIS database at URI, and


Whereas, the data comprising the RIGIS database is intellectual property of URI and owned by the Board, and


Whereas, the Licensee is desirous of securing the non-exclusive right to use the RIGIS data listed on the reverse or linked web page(s)


NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and conditions herein contained, the Licensor and Licensee agree as follows:


1.1 License of Data Products --Licensed data as identified as RIGIS data and as included in the RIGIS Data Base Listing issued by the RIGIS Coordinator at the RI Department of Administration and downloaded as evidenced by electronic login on any computer server owned or operated by RIGIS participants at the University of Rhode Island shall be subject to all the terms and provisions of this agreement. Electronic login shall serve as evidence that all terms and conditions of this Agreement are fully understood and accepted hereto.


1.2 Restriction on Use-- The services and products are solely and exclusively for the internal use of the Licensee and not for the use by any other person or entity, including, but not limited to any entity which is affiliated with the License unless included in the term Licensee.


1.3 Permitted Use.


a. Copies. The Licensee may copy RIGIS data for archival and backup purposes.


b. Equipment. RIGIS digital data may be used on computer equipment owned or leased by the Licensee.


c. Derived Products. Graphic displays and printed tabular listings derived from RIGIS data may be used in publications and presentations, provided that credit is given to RIGIS as the source of the information or that notice of copyright [(c) 1990 RIGIS] be shown.


1.4 Prohibited Use -- Unauthorized Distribution. Any sale, distribution, loan, or offering for use of RIGIS digital data, in whole or in part, is prohibited without the approval of the Licensor.






2.1 Right to Set License Fee Schedule-The RIGIS through action of the RIGIS Executive Committee and acceptance by the Board has the right to establish, change or modify royalties and payments required for the provision of RIGIS data whether delivered through transfer and packaging onto magnetic or optical media or through delivery by electronic transfer means.


2.2 Cost Free Electronic Download - The RIGIS License fee schedule allows for cost free ftp download of data from established URI/RIGIS sites including that site identified by the Internet URL http://www.edc.uri.edu/rigis/.


2.3 Payment for Custom Data Packages-- Payment of License fees as dictated by the current license fee schedule must be made upon delivery for all other data products not available for automatic electronic transfer by ftp download from established URI/RIGIS sites.


2.4 Payable to URI Foundation-Applicable license fees shall be paid by check in US currency, made payable to "URI Foundation/RIGIS License" and delivered to:


State of RI Dept. of Information Technology

RIGIS Coordinator

One Capitol Hill

Providence, Rhode Island  02908-5872





3.1 No Assignment -- This Agreement may not be assigned by either party without the expressed written consent of the other, in advance; the permitted assignee thereof shall have all the rights and remedies of the original parties insofar as the same are assignable. Assignment shall be only as a whole and not as a part, nor as to any part interest therein.





4.1 Indemnification -- Licensee agrees to hold URI, URI Foundation, RIGIS, and the Board and all their employees, staffs, and agents harmless from any claim, suit, or proceeding arising out of the subject matter of this Agreement, including indemnification of URI, URI Foundation, RIGIS, and the Board for reasonable expenses incurred in defending such claims.





5.1 Warranties and Liabilities-- Neither the Licensor nor the owner(s) of these data make any warranty, expressed or implied, as to the results to be attained by the Licensee or others from the use of the licensed data, and there are no warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use. The information contained in the Licensed Data shall be obtained from sources considered by RIGIS to be reliable , but the accuracy and completeness thereof are not guaranteed, and RIGIS shall not be subject to liability for errors of human, or defect or failure of machines, or any material used in the connection with the machines, including, but not limited to, tapes, discs, punch cards and energy. No party shall be liable to the other for default resulting from FORCE MAJEURE, which shall be deemed to include any circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the party affected. Except with respect to liability for remedies which cannot be waived under State and Federal Law, Licensor shall not be liable for any lost profits for consequential damages, or claims against the Licensee by Third parties. The liability of Licensor hereunder for damages, regardless of the form of the action, shall not exceed the License fee paid for the product; and no action, regardless of form, arising from or pertaining to any of the Licensed Data may be brought by the Licensee more than (1) year after such action has accrued.





6.1 Termination -- In the event that the Licensee shall not faithfully perform any and all of the obligations by the Licensee to be performed under this License, the Licensor shall have the right to terminate and cancel this License if the default shall continue for more than (30) days after written notice thereof to the Licensee. Cancellation by the Licensor shall not release the Licensee from its obligation to pay any fees due herein.


6.2 Causes for Termination-- Licensor shall have the right to terminate this agreement if (a) Licensee attempts to assign its rights without the written consent of Licensor; (b) if Licensee delivers or attempts to deliver the Licensed Data to another agency, corporation, or person without the prior written consent of RIGIS.





7.1 Breach or Threatened Breach --In the event of a breach or threatened breach of any of the provisions of this Agreement by the Licensee or any employee or representative of the Licensee, Licensor shall be entitled to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to enforce the provisions hereof; but nothing herein shall preclude Licensor from pursuing any action or other remedy for any breach or threatened breach of this Agreement, all of which shall be cumulative. In the event that Licensor prevails in any such action, Licensor shall be entitled to recover from the Licensee all attorney's fees incurred in connection within.





8.1 Acknowledgment -- The Licensee acknowledges that this Agreement has been read and agrees to be bound by its terms, and further agrees that it is the complete and exclusive statement of the communications or representations relating hereto.


8.2 Authority --Persons whose electronic login signifies an intent to transfer and accept data represent that they are authorized to accept responsility do so, hereby represent and warrant that this licensing agreement is a legal, valid and binding obligation and is enforceable in accordance with its terms.





9.1 Laws of the State of Rhode Island -- This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the parties hereby submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of the State of Rhode Island. This agreement represents the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof. This agreement shall not be modified except in writing and when signed by the parities. Waiver of any breach of the terms and conditions of this agreement shall not be deemed to constitute a waiver of any other or future breach.

Can I get RIGIS data on a CD?

No - we no longer suppport purchases of RIGIS data on RIGIS-provided CDs. We also no longer accept personal CDs for this same purpose.

Other Technical Standards

The standards presented below, represent a variety of widely accepted standards used for geospatial data. While these standards are industry standards, they have not been endorsed by the RIGIS Executive Committee.


ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data - Edition 1, Version 1.0, November 2014

"The objective of the ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Datais to replace the existing ASPRS Accuracy Standards for Large-Scale Maps(1990), and the ASPRS Guidelines, Vertical Accuracy Reporting for Lidar Data(2004) to better address current technologies.


This standard includes positional accuracy standards for digital orthoimagery, digital planimetric data and digital elevation data. Accuracy classes, based on RMSE values, have been revised and upgraded from the 1990 standard to address the higher accuracies achievable with newer technologies. The standard also includes additional accuracy measures, such as orthoimagery seam lines, aerial triangulation accuracy, lidar relative swath-to-swath accuracy, recommended minimum Nominal Pulse Density (NPD), horizontal accuracy of elevation data, delineation of low confidence areas for vertical data, and the required number and spatial distribution of checkpoints based on project area." ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital GeoSpatial Data, p. 3.

For more information on the ASPRS standards, please visit their Standards information page.


Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM)

"The objectives of the standard are to provide a common set of terminology and definitions for the documentation of digital geospatial data. The standard establishes the names of data elements and compound elements (groups of data elements) to be used for these purposes, the definitions of these compound elements and data elements, and information about the values that are to be provided for the data elements." FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata, p.iv.

For more information on the FGDC CSDGM metadata standard, please visit their webpage.

For an easy to use, grapical guide on creating FGDC metadata, click here.

For information on the RIGIS Minimum Metadata Requirements, click here.


The USGS National Geospatial Program Standards and Specifications

To view the full list of USGS stanards, please visit the link above. Below find a few standards that apply to some USGS-based datasets featured on RIGIS.

      - US Topo Product Standard

      - Digital Orthoimagery Base Specification V1.0

      - Lidar Base Specification

Online Resources by State

Rhode Island

Rhode Island State Government

Rhode Island Department of Administration, Division of Planning
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Rhode Island Department of Health
Rhode Island Department of Transportation
Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency

Municipal Government

Municipal GIS Websites
Online Tax Assessor Data

Non-Profit Organizations

The Providence Plan

Colleges and Universities

University of Rhode Island: NarrBay.org
University of Rhode Island: Rhode Island Digital Atlas
University of Rhode Island: MapCoast
University of Rhode Island: Geospatial Extension Program
University of Rhode Island: Environmental Data Center

College and University Classes

Brown University
  Environmental and Remote Technologies Lab

Bryant University
   Contact John Stachelhaus, Department of Science & Technology, for more information.

Community College of Rhode Island

Rhode Island College
   Contact Mark Motte, Department of Political Science, Geography Program, for more information.

Roger Williams University
   Contact Mark Brickley, Computer Information Systems & Web Development, for more information.

University of Rhode Island
   Undergraduate Minor in GIS and Remote Sensing
   Graduate Degree in Environmental Science (M.S. or Ph.D.) Environmental Science and Management (MESM), with specialization in Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis 
   Graduate Certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing

Other Rhode Island Resources

GIS & Mapping Resources in RI – Public Records Search


Connecticut DEEP
CT User to User Network
Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs)


Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs)

National & Regional Online Resources

Regional Interset Groups

Northeast Arc User Group (NEARC)
URISA New England Chapter (NEURISA)
GITA New England Chapter (GITA NE)
Regional Plan Association (NY, NJ, CT)

National Information Resources

National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC)
Geospatial One-Stop
USDA Geospatial Data Gateway
USGS Earth Explorer
USGS National Map
FEMA Map Service Center
NOAA Coastal Services Center: Digital Coast

Useful Tools

Free Map Tools - Allow users to utilize maps to measure, search and overlay mark-up elements on maps for a variety of applications.

Spreadsheet to Map – open heat map  - Allows users to upload Excel spreadsheets to create interactive online maps.

MeetWays - Assists with determining a halfway point between two locations.

ArcGIS LiDAR Sample Tools - An ArcToolbox of useful tools for processing and working with LAS files.

Idaho Batch Metadata Modifier Tool - A beta-version metadata tool that allows batch modification of metadata XML files.

USGS Tkme Metadata Editor - A FGDC-compliant metadata editor developed and maintained by the USGS.

EPA Metadata Editor - A FGDC-compliant metadata editor developed and maintained by the US EPA.

LAStools - A toolset for working with LiDAR data.

GDAL - An open source command prompt library for working with raster and vector geospatial data.

Fulcrum - An easy way to build customized mobile applications for mobile data collection.

CartoDB - Offers ways to map and view location-based data.

VDatum - A free software tool developed by NOAA that can transform geospatial data among vertical datums.

GIS Discussion Forums

GIS.com (esri)
Directions Magazine
RIGIS Listserv
ConsGIS Listserv
NorthEast ARC (NEARC) Users Group Listserv
Connecticut GIS Listserv
National States Geographic Information Council

Help Resources

RIGIS Metadata Resources
FME/Safe (Data Interoperability)
Tech on the Net
Esri support
Esri Mapping Center
Esri Resource Center

Other Useful Resources

Google Maps
Google Earth
ArcGIS Explorer
PennState Geospatial Revolution Project
Northeast Ocean Data

Resources for Educators

Earth Exploration Toolbook - An online collection of Earth system science activities for the secondary and college level.

Esri Teaching with GIS Free Online Course - Strategies for integrating GIS into classrooms.

Esri GeoMentor Program - A way for GIS Professionals to help educators bring GIS into the classroom.

Rhode Island Geographic Educational Alliance - An alliance dedicated to increasing and improving geography education throughout RI.

Professional Training Opportunities

URI Geospatial Extension Program short courses

Connecticut Training Opportunities

Esri Training Resources

GIS 101

World Views – Spatial Technology for Education

Job, Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

RIGIS Initiative to Promote and Foster GIS Internships in RI

RI-focused job seeker website: JobsInRI.com

Advertise your internship opportunity via the RIGIS-L email listserv

Contribute your GIS know-how to a local school: Esri GeoMentor Program

The GIS Jobs Clearinghouse

Higher Education Recruitment Consortium - searchable for GIS jobs in higher educational institutions

bRIdge.Jobs - great place for students and recent grads to find internships throughout Rhode Island