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Drought Data Download and Services

NIDIS Drought Data Download and Services is the public face of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and serves as a clearinghouse for drought products, forecasts, services, and information at the county, state, regional, national and global scales. Modern advances in web capabilities, GIS and data management are driving a new generation of approaches to visualizations. is utilizing these new approaches to better communicate Drought information and to prioritize usability, accessibility and performance. These new approaches have been made available to the public, and include a variety of drought-related spatial and non-spatial products. plans to expand on these products in the future and will continuously update this informational page to reflect these changes.

Currently, there are two online locations and methods that can be used to access these data products: the Data Download website and the ArcGIS Server. The data download website provides access to data products and boundary files in GeoJSON and TopoJSON formats that enable accurate and efficient online visualizations in tools such as D3, Leaflet, OpenLayers and ArcGIS Online. These products are organized and vary by their spatial extent as seen in the list below. The ArcGIS REST server provides the public with access to spatial files and data products formatted for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software that can be incorporated into ESRI ArcGIS Online, Google Earth, ArcMap for Desktop, and more. Please refer to the list below for more information about these products. ArcGIS REST Services

Below is a list of data products available via the NCEI/NIDIS ArcGIS REST server: Data Download

Below is a list of the Version 1 (v1) available products from’s Data Download:

    *GeoJSON and TopoJSON file extensions are “.geojson” and “.json” respectively.

Data Download – GeoJSON and TopoJSON formats:To more effectively and efficiently present the NIDIS data products on the Drought.Gov website, these products were converted to two different file formats: GeoJSON and TopoJSON. The GeoJSON file format allows for encoding a wide variety of geographic data structures. The TopoJSON file format is an extension of GeoJSON that encodes topology, and allows for the creation of a smaller version of the same GeoJSON file by reducing duplicated boundaries. Many of these data products tailored for a larger spatial extent (i.e., United States, North American, and Global spatial extents) have also been simplified by reducing the complexity of each polygon to reduce their file size and decrease load time on All of these files can be viewed and edited with a text editor, desktop GIS or online GIS or mapping tools. These formats have allowed the web team to more efficiently utilize spatial data and incorporate dynamic mapping within the website.