When choosing data to use for your mapping projects, it is important to keep the following criteria in mind:
- Does it have metadata, such as information about how, when and by whom the data was collected?
- Are the projections/coordinate systems compatible?
- Does it have a location aspect (latitude and longitude; state names; country names), so that I can use it in my GIS?
- Is it current, or from the right time frame?
- Is the data from an authoritative source?