About Oregon Explorer

Since it was launched in 2007, the Oregon Explorer natural resources digital library has been providing access to data, mapping and reporting tools, stories and other archived information to help local citizens, planners and policymakers make more informed decisions about Oregon’s natural resources and communities. The Oregon Explorer program is a collaboration between the Institute for Natural Resources and the Oregon State University Libraries and Press. Oregon Explorer information, tools and data have been developed with a variety of public and private partners at local, state, and regional levels.

Learn about Oregon communities

Use the Communities Reporter Tool to get social, demographic, environmental and economic data for the 723 communities and 36 counties in Oregon.    Tracking Oregon’s Progress, or TOP Indicators, are aimed to help gain understanding of the trends in Oregon’s economy, people and communities, and environment.  TOP indicators include 89 metrics from 1990 to 2011 across all counties in the state.  Data can be viewed, shared and downloaded.

Explore Oregon's basins and watersheds

Use the Oregon Watershed Restoration Toolto find out about the restoration activities in each of Oregon’s 15 basins since 1995.  Project-level data can be viewed by sub-basin or watershed council area. Learn about the project outcomes, partners, funding, and other details. The data featured is managed by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and is updated annually. Background data for basins and associated natural resource issues can be accessed through the Oregon Explorer. 

Create maps and learn about any place in Oregon

Using the Oregon Explorer Map Viewer, you can make up-to-date multi-layer maps using our free GIS program. For example, you can find out what wildlife or plant species live in your area, determine hazards for your area, such as fire or flooding, map your local watershed, annotate the map, or make distance and area measurements. Once you have made a map, there are options to download the data used to make the map, share the map, and add your own spatial data to the map.  If you are a new user, there is an online tutorial that is available. Also try the Oregon Explorer ATLAS.

Gain an understanding of local issues

The Oregon Explorer also has an ever-expanding collection of stories, scholarly research, and other archived materials for particular natural resource topics and places in Oregon. Multi-media stories have been commissioned to help provide a context for available data, or to highlight the natural resource issues in a particular place.

Download GIS data

If you need spatial data, then the Oregon Spatial Data Library is the place for you.  From this Oregon Explorer data portal you can search, browse, and download more than 300 GIS datasets. Many of these are statewide in extent and have been contributed by public agencies who participate in the Oregon Geographic Information Council (OGIC).  This site was developed in partnership with the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.  New data gets added all the time, and some datasets do extend beyond the borders of Oregon.