The Urban Web

Interesting Urban/Real Estate Economics Blogs

Urban & Real Estate Research Centers

Map files

Raster data

Transportation data


General Purpose GIS Packages:

  • Leading open source software is QGIS.
  • GRASS has been around for  longer but is hard to use — there is a GRASS plugin in QGIS.
  • ArcGIS is the most used paid for GIS software.
  • Mathematica has some appealing potential, but it’s not yet there to process GIS data.

Python packages:

R packages:

Stata packages:

  • spmap provides basic mapping functionalities, e.g. chloropleth maps.


  • Texas A&M’s geocoder is extremely good, and very cheap (around $200 for 150,000 addresses). You can replicate the geocoder using the PostGIS Geocoder. Same output, for free (minus the opportunity cost of setting up a computer for this).

Housing Data

United States