I need to make some small world globes on balls, 55 mm in diameter, to illustrate and give away at a talk on map making. I have written a computer program that draws the gores to fit the ball (any size ball), but I need a source of suitable coordinate data to draw coastal outlines on it. All the data sets I have so far found have far too many points, much too detailed, very nice for larger scale regional maps but not suitable for my purpose. Please is there a source of data that I can use? I expect to need somewhere between a hundred and a thousand points to plot.

A way of reducing one of the large data sets to a more acceptable scale might be possible but looks to be a very difficult operation to do effectively.

2 Answers 2


In the link below you can download shorelines and other information in several formats and resolutions:


The crude resolution is quite low resolution and maybe fits your needs.

  • Thank you kikocorreoso, that does look like just what I need. I'm having a bit of trouble installing GMT but I am sure that when I get that sorted out I will have the information I want. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 22:45

In the end all the data resources I could access in Shape file format were much too high a resolution -- just too many points.

However I have found just the data I need accompanying the gnuplot programming language on Linux as world.dat with 1320 coordinates. Plotting the data with gnuplot gives this map: map

If you have a system with gnuplot installed you should find it there -- I don't know how to access it otherwise.

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