Video Tutorial 1.1

Nicolas MalloyAuthor: Nicolas R. Malloy

Download Data from a Public Source

Humboldt County’s Planning Division collects and develops GIS data and software for the initial purpose of supporting the General Plan Update. The goals of the division have expanded to meet the GIS needs of federal, state, and local agencies. This data is readily available for free download through the Humboldt County GIS Data Download web page.

In this tutorial, you will navigate through the Humboldt County GIS data portal and gather the data you will need to complete the next tutorial.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this tutorial should be able to:

  • Summarize the steps for creating a project workspace folder structure
  • Demonstrate the ability to download data from a public source
  • Practice decompressing zipped files into a specific folder


A “workspace” is a folder containing all of your project files. Setting up a workspace ensures that all of the files you use in a GIS project are kept together. As you will soon learn, this is extremely important.  Create a workspace folder on your local computer called Tutorial-1-1. Within this folder you will create another folder called original.

Tutorial 1.1 Download Data from a Public Source

Part 1: Creating a Workspace Folder

Navigate to Google in your web browser and search Humboldt County GIS Data Download. Look for a link that indicates GIS data download. It may be the fourth or fifth one down. Click on the link to open the page.

Take a moment to read through the Disclaimer and Data Projection sections to become familiar with the data available. Scroll down the page and skim the contents to discover what types of data the County of Humboldt can provide.

Download the following shapefiles:

  • Humboldt County
  • School Districts
  • Fire Districts
  • Election Precincts

Tutorial 1.1 Download Data from a Public Source

Part 2: Downloading the Data