GIS Resources

GIS Resources

As with most other technologies, GIS has been changing more rapidly in the past decade than ever before.  Entities that build and maintain geospatial data often get stuck in a cycle of building and rebuilding web applications for consumers to access these data.  Each iteration of web development yeilds products that become obsolete and unusable as the technology surrounding them changes. 


Along with other government organizations, Richland County is providing access to GIS data, in the form of a WMS and links to external data sets/geospatial resources, so users can make their own maps using their own software. This do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to GIS empowers the user to build and modify their own solutions.

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Free and Open Source GIS (FOSS)

There are several open source GIS desktop packages that are free to the public. See this link to view a forum discussion that lists many options and provides some user feedback about their experiences using this software.

You will also find links to download and learn more about several open source applications thourgh this forum thread. 

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Cartographic Web Map Services (WMS) - beta

To accommodate citizen and professional users, Richland County began offering “Web Mapping Services” (WMS) in 2013.  


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Over the past year, many Federal agencies have also begun providing free WMS access to their data.  This allows users to add live data from numerous government agencies, private companies, and their own collections to make maps and products.

Click here for more information about Web Map Services.

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Use Web Services from External Sources

Web Map Services (WMS)

National Wetland Inventory (NWI)

FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL)

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) National Cooperative Soil Survey

Web Feature Services (WFS)

FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL)

Web Services by Agency



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Download GIS Data from External Sources


National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) & Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)

FEMA Website

*US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

National Cooperative Soil Survey

USDA Website

*Dozens of additional Richland County layers are available through this Federal site.

US FIsh and Wildlife Service

National Wetlands Inventory (NWI): 

US Fish and Wildlife Service Webpage

SC Department of Natural Resources (SC DNR)

Lidar Data & Related Products

Additional GIS Layers

SC GIS Data Clearinghouse

Data Downloads & Data Services

USGS National Map Viewer

View & Download Data

University of South Carolia

Data Derived From/Maintained by State & Federal Agencies


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GIS Instructions

Adding Imagery & Basemaps

Add ESRI Imagery to QGIS

Load Google, Bing or other aerial imagery

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