Global Shoreline Vector Databases for Geocart

These Global Shoreline files were converted from GSHHS format (Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Shoreline Database) to Geocart data base format in Jan. 2001.

The original data was downloaded from University of Hawaii’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at this web site:

The full resolution data base is composed of 7 files:





82.7 MB

Coastlines and ocean islands


6.7 MB



524 K

Islands within lakes


12 K

Water bodies on islands

WDBII Nations

3.8 MB

National boarders circa 1995

WDBII Provinces

14.6 MB

Provinces circa 1995

WDBII Rivers

19.6 MB


There are also four reduced resolution versions of the Global Shoreline files. (There is no reduced version of the WDBII files)

The data bases are a combination of two public domain data bases:
Coastlines and islands are derived from World Vector Shoreline. World Vector Shoreline in a high resolution data base of the worlds continents and ocean islands. It does not contain any lake boarders. This data base was designed for maps with scales of 1 to 100,000.

Lakes, islands in lakes, and ponds in islands were derived from World Data Bank II. World Data Bank II is a copy of the CIA’s data base circa 1995.

Note: In the original GSHHS data bases the outlines around contentents are drawn as one single continuos line. The longest line is the outline of Africa/Eurasia with over 1.4 million points. The longest line that Geocart’s binary data base format can contain has 32,767 points. All lines in the data base longer than 32,767 points have been split into segments containing 32,767 points or less.

I also downloaded all the World Data Bank II rivers, international boarders and provinces and converted them to Geocart data base format. The source for this data was:

Warning: The political bounds are circa 1995. There are outdated and alternate boarders in these files. Please check them carefully before use.

To order please contact me by email or phone.