- 1 Most Wanted
- 2 Already used
- 3 Investigated and rejected
- 4 Needs investigation
- 5 Changes in data
- Polish reformed administrative boundaries
- Rivers data without gaps
- Lists of world's biggest cities
- http://www.grid.unep.ch/data/grid/gnv29.php -- en:User:JeLuF
- Damn, this data is extremely buggy. Taw 22:58, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- http://www.world-gazetteer.com/st/overview.htm all places with a population above 100 000, regional centres and the largest 20 places per country/territory -- JeLuF 22:02, 9 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- http://www.grid.unep.ch/data/grid/gnv29.php -- en:User:JeLuF
NASA has lot of nice public domain topological and bathymetric data. "Blue Marble" (lower res previews, raw data) has resolution of 43200x21600 and is really good-looking (except maybe on poles where it's deformed a lot, though transforming the image into a more appropriate projection than cylindrical should do well enough).
It has been downloaded and some script are ready to extract arbitrary fragments from it. 200 18°x18° PNGS forming the map take 800 MB, uncompressed (for processing) raw data takes 2.7GB.
There's more than one version of BlueMarble.
CIA World DataBank II and derivates
- coastline data (decent)
- rivers (with gaps)
- borders of USA states and Canadian provinces (decent)
- national borders in the world (terribly outdated, from 1980s)
No official site for this although a number of websites have it available to download.
Boundaries and coastlines data
wdbtemp4.e00 by UNEP/GRID is the source of most data for The first useful map is extracted from
We can parse it by hand or using Geo::E00 module from CPAN (http://www.cpan.org/modules/by-module/Geo/Geo-E00-0.05.tar.gz ).
Rivers data is extracted from different version of CIA WDB II.
Investigated and rejected
Data distributed with GMT
Data based on CIA World DataBank II but with reasonably new borders and some other changes.
The coastline database is compiled from two sources: World Vector Shorelines (WVS) and CIA World Data Bank II (WDBII). In particular, all level-1 polygons (ocean-land boundary) are derived from the more accurate WVS while all higher level polygons (level 2-4, representing land/lake, lake/island-in-lake, and island-in-lake/lake-in-island-in- lake boundaries) are taken from WDBII. Much processing has taken place to convert WVS and WDBII data into usable form for GMT: assembling closed polygons from line segments, checking for duplicates, and correcting for crossings between polygons. The area of each polygon has been deter- mined so that the user may choose not to draw features smaller than a minimum area (see -A); one may also limit the highest hierarchical level of polygons to be included (4 is the maximum). The 4 lower-resolution databases were derived from the full resolution database using the Dou- glas-Peucker line-simplification algorithm. The classifi- cation of rivers and borders follow that of the WDBII. See the GMT Cookbook and Technical Reference Appendix K for further details. [True]
- Newer data on political boundaries, also contains road and rail information. However the site doesn't allow you to download all of the data at once, so to use it someone will need to download the data for each country seperately. --Imran
- Let's see if I can use Perl to automate it a bit ... Damn, no luck this time Taw 13:35, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)
City coordinates - non-US
Data on city coordinates (world except USA) is available from http://www.nima.mil/gns/html/cntry_files.html
Really nice, 180MB compressed, includes even tiny villages
City coordinates - USA
USA data is available from http://geonames.usgs.gov/domestic/download_data.htm
http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cob/bdy_files.html - they have state/county boundary maps in USA
Data for Africa's admin boundaries (up to level 3).
I'm sure we'd be able to get the political and administrative divisions from some other public domain/GPL-ed source and map it over the elevation data (haven't really searched for this, but these guys seem to have something like this based on their fancy "recent visitors" page); and finally, although I can't find it now, I remember I was able to locate a public domain list of GPS locations of almost all cities on Earth on some military US site, so we could also plot those on the resulting map. Now the problem is that we wouldn't have rivers, roads, streets, railways, nothing. Maybe someone else gets lucky and finds some public domain data for some of those too? -- Gutza 02:32, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Asia regional (country internal) boundaries: http://www.grid.unep.ch/data/grid/downloads/gnv197.tar.Z
Russian Federation internal boundaries: http://www.grid.unep.ch/data/grid/downloads/gnv198.tar.Z
Europe country internal boundaries (level 2): http://www.grid.unep.ch/data/grid/downloads_new/gnv158.zip
EC internal boundaries (level 3): http://www.grid.unep.ch/data/download/gnv159.zip (upto level 2 are also included in the previous file)
USGS seems to have quite a bit of US data. http://edc.usgs.gov/geodata/ But they're in some funny format. That's not only their problem, as almost all data I could find was in weird formats. Taw 03:28, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
The DEMs, DLGs etc you will need free GIS software like GRASS http://grass.baylor.edu/ which has a very steep learning curve, or QGIS http://qgis.sourceforge.net/ which has a graphical command interface, but does much less.
Geo hopes to be able to do some useful mapping work; there's a list of public domain data sources for maps:
Search for "boundaries" at http://geodata.grid.unep.ch/ for a 1998 boundaries datafile in ESRI shapefile format (Shapefile convertors available from http://www.weather.gov/geodata/utils/html/convedit.htm).
- OK, works. Taw 12:32, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Other interesting data source from the UNEP include:
Which has an updated WDB2. Also has some city data files that might prove useful (for instance it has population figures associated with city names and also marks capital cities as such) and NUTS-3 level of boundaries for Europe and Asia.
Another useful USGS site:
World map has the ESRI international borders from 1990 further updated by the UNEP for the break up of the USSR and changes in eastern europe: http://www.grid.unep.ch/data/grid/downloads_new/gnv019.zip
Another possibility is to use WDB2 for the borders for most of the world but use the above linked ones for Europe (1992), Asia (1994 with some later updates), Russian Fed (1998) and Africa (1996) --Imran
- http://freegis.org/geo-data.en.html list of even more free data sets
EarthETC is a demonstration site for Image Web Server, and contains a whole bunch of raster data accessible over the internet via ecwp.
Changes in data
Lot of data is not completely up-to-date. List of major changes here: http://www.mapping.com/changes.shtml
Whithin GISWiki georeferenced maps (images) can be shared. See Shared Images with world file data on GISWiki for a list of available Maps.