How can one order Geographic Information System data, and how long does it usually take for delivery?
Geographic Information System data can be purchased directly from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Response and Restoration at www.response.restoration.noaaa.gov/maps-and-spatial-data/order-esi-maps-and-gis-data.html. It will arrive in CD/DVD format, and would normally take about a month for the order to be processed and placed in delivery. It just so happens, however, that the government shutdown in affect as of this writing has included the office responsible for processing orders. So no GIS data can be ordered until the shutdown ends. The same goes for the U.S. Geologic Society, where data can be purchased at www.water.usgs.gov/maps.html.
In addition to ordering GIS data from the U.S. Government, it can be purchased from any number of city or state governments, for example, in Massachusetts one can order data from www.maps.massgis.state.ma.us/orders/, or from www.bellevuewa.gov/mapping_request_form.htm if the region in which one is interested includes Washington State. Basically, contacting any city manager’s office will help one locate the proper place from which to order GIS data specific to regions. Shipping schedules will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so no good estimate can be provided on how long it will take to process and ship each order.