World Borders Dataset

Provided by Bjorn Sandvik,

If you have any comments about this dataset, please post them on this page.

Use this dataset with care, as several of the borders are disputed.

The original shapefile (, 3.2 MB) was downloaded from the Mapping Hacks website:

The dataset is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. If you use this dataset, please provide a link to this website.

Main changes

  • Polygons representing one country/area are merged into one feature.
  • Added ISO 3166-1 Country codes (alpha-2, alpha-3, numeric-3).
  • Various feature changes to make the dataset more compatible with ISO 3611-1. See "Readme.txt" for details.
  • Added region and sub-region codes from UN Statistical Division.
  • Added longitude/latitude values for each country.

Attribute columns

Shape Polygon Country/area border as polygon(s)
FIPS String(2) FIPS 10-4 Country Code
ISO2 String(2) ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 Country Code
ISO3 String(3) ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 Country Code
UN Short Integer(3) ISO 3166-1 Numeric-3 Country Code
NAME String(50) Name of country/area
AREA Long Integer(7) Land area, FAO Statistics (2002)
POP2005 Double(10,0) Population, World Population Prospects (2005)
REGION Short Integer(3) Macro geographical (continental region), UN Statistics
SUBREGION Short Integer(3) Geographical sub-region, UN Statistics
LON FLOAT (7,3) Longitude
LAT FLOAT (6,3) Latitude


The dataset is available in shapefile format:

How can this dataset be used?

The dataset is part of the Thematic Mapping Engine and you can see several examples on my thematic mapping blog.

Internet Center for Corruption Research has made an interactive map showing the Corruption Perceptions Index.

David Tryse has made a disappearing forests visualisation in Google Earth.

Guilhem shows how choropleth maps can be created with Google Maps Flash API.