I've been struggling with sourcing some GIS data for months, now.
I've been asked to plot streets and administrative boundaries on a website, using online mapping controls like Google maps or MS Virtual Earth. (i know these online apps already show this info .. i need to manipulate it .. light highlight them and stuff).
I've struggled to find any data (free or commerical) that can help me here. We're using SQL 2008 as our database to store the spatial data. We've been requested to support USA, Canada, UK, Australia, NZ, and some European countries.
Problem is, I just can't find any data out there! if i do find it, it's hard to use or really simplified.
To start out, I've been trying to use the US Census TIGER LINE shapefiles and convert them into wgs84 and then import them into sql 2008. Now, there's polygon data for roads, states and counties .. but this data is pretty simplified. And when i find any country boundaries, it's REALLY simplified. As a good example, i found a boundary for USA which was around 3000 points only. So when i tried to find if some coastal lat/longs were part of the US mainland (or any US land), it failed because of the simplified boundary line was one long line and the points landed in the ocean.
I'm starting to get really frustrated because I'm sure there's data out there. I'm also scared that this data is ludicrously expensive
So can anyone help me?
Are there sources for pretty details administrative boundaries that I could put into our SQL Server.
Are there sources for streets?
I've looked at openstreetmap.org (or whatever that site is) but everyone there keeps saying the data is very incomplete. I also have no idea how to get any data out of there, even if i wanted to.
Please help - i'm really struggling with this I didn't know how much fun playing with maps could be (with the limited data i've had to play with) .. it's so powerful and exciting! It's killing me that i just don't have any good data to use!!!
Edited by Peeks, 29 April 2009 - 07:40 AM.