GIS Data for California Public Schools

Caitlin Dempsey


Update: GreenInfo recently release a major update to the California School Campus Database (CSCD): “The new 2021 release includes a comprehensive update of public K-12 schools, as well as improvements to California Community Colleges and University Lands. ”

GIS Data from the CSCD has been used to perform spatial analysis of:

  • Tobacco/Vape/Hookah/Cannabis exposure
  • Pesticide use
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Facility funding
  • Wildfire impacts
  • COVID responses

Original Article (December 18, 2018):

California School Campus Database (CSCD) offers a GIS dataset that contains all of the public school locations from K-12 grades for California.  The data is mapped to the parcel level and is offered as a download without restriction.  

The dataset improves on the publicly available data from the California Department of Education (CDE) which offers a geocoded point location only.  The GIS data from CSCD is both point and polygon-based which provides additional information about the area of different school campuses.

 In addition, the data from CDE has been corrected for spatial inaccuracies by CSCD.  The data is made available by the GreenInfo Network.

The data is available as a geodatabase which can be loaded into ArcGIS and QGIS (drag and drop the geodatabase folder into your map view).  Contained within the geodatabase are school location centroids, and polygons for public K-12, community colleges, and public universities.  The data can also be viewed online through either ArcGIS Online service or MapCollaborator.

To download visit: California School Campus Database

Screenshot from the California School Campus Database (CSCD) map interface.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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