King County GIS – Spatial Data Catalog (SDC)

Subject  (Theme) Descriptions



Subject Name

Subject Abbreviation






Current city boundaries. Manmade landmark locations, points-of-interest, facilities, both public and non-public. Cultural (anthropic) features not specifically included in other categories. Designations for administrative oversight and jurisdiction, not included in DISTRICT, such as zipcode postal zones. School sites.


Census boundaries and business tables



Census data, by census year, conflated to other King County data. Obtained directly or indirectly from United States Census Bureau that has been conflated to King County base layers. Decennial census data is maintained for comparison analysis. Note: Census business tables, beginning with ACS_ (American Community Survey) and the 2010 Dicennial Census tables: PLSF_, SF1_ and SF3_ are available by downloading Option 1 Census Shapefiles or GDB.


District boundaries




Legislatively or local government-defined boundaries, primarily intra-county. Includes permanent or semi-permanent jurisdictional, legislative, congressional, council, and judicial boundaries. Minor taxation entities (not service areas) such as school districts. Voter districts.



Environmental data or that related to the state (not management) of natural resources. Natural condition of flora and fauna and their habitat. Description of earth's natural ecosystem or physical environment.



Hydrologic, but not hydraulic (engineering) data. Naturally occurring waterways and waterbodies, both freshwater and ocean, including contact zones. Includes flood hazard zones independent of their management.


Natural resources




Management and impacts of natural resources. Related to jurisdictionally-defined boundaries and the management or enforcement of environmental regulations. These regulations affect the measurement or quality of natural resources. Especially related to shoreline management, growth boundary management or farmland management. Does not include actual environmental measurements or boundaries that may reflect issues beyond environmental topics.



Planning, growth, landuse (not landcover) patterns. Includes zoning, development restrictions and other designations affecting urban or rural construction or build-out.


Political boundaries




County boundaries. Includes larger political divisions than defined by DISTRICT whose definition is generally independent of a King County decision, i.e., defined by State or Federal agency. Generally includes man-made boundaries but may contain jurisdictional boundaries that include or adopt natural boundaries, but with a long-term or permanent designation.



Land parcel and tax parcel data. County, state and federal land ownership patterns. Solid waste facilities.

Public safety


Related to emergency response, police and fire response. Includes medical facilities.



Parks and recreation property and infrastructure, including athletic facilities. Includes playgrounds, public gardens and other public gathering areas such as swimming areas.



Survey control data. Spatial indexes and source/vintage status layers for elevation and orthoimagery data



Elevation data, including contours and mountain peaks. Note: KMZ file and SHP file contains all topo files except contours. For KMZ or SHP format, download contour files individually.





All land, water and air transportation. Street centerlines. Private surface transport regardless of mode, i.e., railroad, bike path. Other transportation-related layers like airports, ferry terminals, etc. Public transportation operations such as mass-transit, light-rail, bus service, trolley, commuter rail services. Includes physical infrastructure, administrative boundaries and support facilities.



Waste water treatment plants. Residential, commercial and regional stormwater facilities. Sewer basin flow direction and service area. Includes access (i.e., well) pumping, transfer and maintenance facilities.