Tips and Tricks

Don’t Need it All? Try Filtering!

At times you may not need to download an entire GIS dataset. For instance, the contour line datasets available from RIGIS are quite large and can be slow to draw on your screen.

The RIGIS data clearinghouse gives you the option to download a portion of a dataset. You can do this by using the filter tools.

Note to desktop GIS users: RIGIS datasets cannot be subset via clips, intersects, etc, via the website. However try adding these a RIGIS feature service to your next desktop GIS project, and then running these tools! You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

To filter a dataset using a table on the RIGIS data clearinghouse, first head over there:


Find a dataset you’re interested in working with. In this case, I’ve chosen RIDEM’s Local Conservation Lands dataset.

Choose the “Data” tab to open up a tabular data view.

Try filtering this dataset! Click the small Filter icon to the left of the “Site Name” column heading.

A small window should have appeared at the top of the table. Choose the small arrow on the right-hand side of this window to open up a new box that you may type in.

Start typing in a name, such as “Valley Falls”. Both the table and map will update to list the records that have a Site Name that starts with the keyword “Valley Falls”. You should have only one record in your table now – Valley Falls Heritage Park. You’ve successfully filtered this dataset!


Try downloading this filtered dataset. Look for the “Download” menu on the right-hand side of the page, and select it.

There is a “Filtered Dataset” section within the Download menu. Choose one of the options, such as a KML file that’s compatible with Google Earth. When you open this file, you should fine just one record representing Valley Falls Heritage Park in Cumberland, RI.