I am searching for a shapefile containing waterbodies and waterlines (rivers, etc.) in Norway, ideally at scale 1:50 000.

I have found a great resource of topographic map here: https://kartkatalog.geonorge.no/metadata/kartverket/n50-kartdata/ea192681-d039-42ec-b1bc-f3ce04c189ac but my downloaded data contain a raster of topo map and vectors, which do not contain river lines neither river bodies. enter image description here

I have also found a WMS service for topo data: https://openwms.statkart.no/skwms1/wms.topo4.graatone? which contain the rivers ("Elver", "Vannkontur"), but I can not modify the style of those data neither simply overlay it on my map.

Please, how can I access the river and water bodies data from Norway? My study area is near Østfold. Unfortunately, I am not a Norwegian speaker.

1 Answer 1


You can download a shapefile of "inland water" for Norway from DIVA-GIS. The description for the "inland water" data says the sources is the Digital Chart of the World, which was last updated in 1992.

The Digital Chart of the World (DCW) is a comprehensive digital map of Earth. It is the most comprehensive geographical information system (GIS) global database that is freely available as of 2006, although it has not been updated since 1992. (source: wikipedia)

The USGS Earth Explorer has these data sets for Norway:

  • GTOPO30 HYDRO1k, - "a global hydrologic database derived from 1996 GTOPO30 data"

    HYDRO1k is a geographic database developed to provide comprehensive and consistent global coverage of topographically derived data sets, including streams, drainage basins and ancillary layers derived from the USGS' 30 arc-second digital elevation model of the world (GTOPO30). HYDRO1k provides a suite of geo-referenced data sets, both raster and vector, which will be of value for all users who need to organize, evaluate, or process hydrologic information on a continental scale.

  • SRTM Water Body Data - water body outlines from February 2000

    The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Water Body Data files are a by-product of the data editing performed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to produce the finished SRTM Digital Terrain Elevation Data Level 2 (DTED® 2)...Ocean, lake and river shorelines were identified and delineated...After this processing was done,the shorelines from the one arc second (approx. 30-meter) DTED® 2 were saved as vectors in ESRI 3-D Shapefile format.

To download these layers you have to go through the Earth Explorer interactive data download assistant.

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