Geospatial Data


Custer Gallatin National Forest Geographic Information System Data

This digital data are available online, free of charge.  Data sets are located in the table below.  We recommend you click on the description in the metadata column prior to downloading the file.  It provides a description of what the data is.  To download data, click on .zip and save the file on your computer for your use.  Many of these files are large, so please check the file size listed before downloading.  All larger files have been compressed with the WinZip compression utility.  PC users can use a zip utility such as WinZip to unzip these files.

GIS Data Disclaimer

The Forest Service uses the most current and complete data available.  GIS data and product accuracy may vary.  They may be developed from sources of differing accuracy, accurate only at certain scales, based on modeling or interpretation, incomplete while being created or revised, etc.  Using GIS products for purposes other than those for which they were created may yield inaccurate or misleading results.  The Forest Service reserves the right to correct, update, modify, or replace GIS products without notification.

How to use the GIS Data

A number of geographic datasets covering the Custer Gallatin National Forest are available below.  We use ESRI's GIS software (ArcGIS), and store all corporate GIS data in one of ESRI's proprietary formats (shapefiles).  The GIS layers available are stored as zipped files to conserve space and facilitate downloading.  To use them, you must uncompress them using WinZip or other compression software that recognizes these file types.  In addition to their commercial software, ESRI offers ArcExplorer software free for viewing GIS data.  You can download the software from ArcExplorer website.

Tabular Data

Tabular Data is generally provided in dBase IV format.  These files can be imported into Arc/Info, ArcView, or ArcExplorer GIS software packages and joined to their assoicated GIS coverages.  An additional file containing documentation may be included with the tabular data.

What is Metadata?

Metadata is information about the data.  Users are strongly advised to read the metadata to insure the data set is appropriate for their needs.  Click on .htm in the metadata column of the data set of interest to view the metadata.  Each metadata may provide a general description of the data set, geographic information about the data set, how the data set was built, any updates to the data set, any associated database tables with the data set, descriptions of data set attributes, and other valuable information.

About the Online Themes

Unless otherwise noted, all datasets are single, forest wide GIS layers, and are in NAD83 Albers projection.  This data represents the best data currently available at the Custer Gallatin Forest.  It is not necessarily complete and accuracy is limited to 1:24000 USGS carographic standards or less.  The Forest Service does not guarantee the accuracy or currency of any of this data.  As the forest's database is updated or requests for data change, this list will be updated.


Custer Gallatin National Forest Geospatial Information

Theme/Data Set Metadata/Description Spatial Data Date Updated
Administrative Forest Boundary Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Administrative District Boundary Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Ownership Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Developed Recreation Sites Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Seasonal Roads Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Yearlong Roads Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Trails Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Congressionally Designated Areas - Wilderness Areas Metadata Spatial Data Oct 2016
Other Designations Metadata Spatial Data Jan 2017
Nationally Designated Trails Data within file Spacial Data March 2019


For more information:

  • Forest GIS Coordinator (406) 587-6985
  • GIS Specialist (406) 255-1443
  • Link to Region 1 data sets

Key Contacts

  • Forest GIS Coordinator (406) 587-6985
  • Forest GIS Specialist (406) 255-1443