I've been working with TIGER/Line shapefiles of CDPs/towns/cities, and want to fill in the empty areas between these places with shapes of those unincorporated areas well. So far, I've been unable to find shapefiles of the unincorporated areas at a national scale. Are these available to download in one dataset?

  • This is a question which I think would be more on-topic at the Open Data Stack Exchange.
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:48
  • Got it, that makes sense. I don't have enough rep to move it -- would you be able to? If not, I can just delete and re-post.
    – Ellory
    Jul 15, 2017 at 21:54
  • you can use the erase(arcmap)/difference(qgis) geoprocessing tool to remove the city boundary shapes from a national county shapefile
    – atxgis
    Jul 17, 2017 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


Having worked with Census Bureau shapefiles for nearly seven years, I'm almost certain this isn't available by default. That said, the Census Bureau does provide Shapefiles of municipality boundaries.

You might be able to use something like QGis to load a shape file of all municipalities, then select the bounding area, and perform an inverse selection command using the differences geoprocessing tool, which would draw a polygon filling in anywhere inside the bounding box that doesn't already have spatial layers.

  • 1
    R's spatial packages can be powerful tools if you go this route.i used a similar technique to punch out rural areas in counties by subtracting census "places." Jul 18, 2017 at 19:30

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