skip navigation link

shorelines icon.

World Data Service for Geophysics

Shoreline/Coastline Resources

NCEI provides access to a variety of shoreline/coastline data sets. NCEI is a mirror site for the GSHHG database and also provide links to a variety of coastline resources (both NOAA and non-NOAA sources). All datasets are in WGS84 geographic (simple latitudes and longitudes; decimal degrees) horizontal datum.


  • Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Geography Database (GSHHG)
    The GSHHG is a high-resolution geography data set including coastlines, political borders, and rivers available for file download in either ESRI shapefile format or in a native binary format.

  • NCEI Desktop Coastline Extractor
    The desktop extractor imports and exports any shoreline or boundary file in shapefile format or various standard ASCII formats. This includes the coastlines listed below as well as GSHHS and various other coastlines, such as those listed in the panel on the right.


Coastline products distributed by NCEI are in the public domain and are not subject to copyright protection within the United States, except for the GSHHG Database, which is released under the GNU Lesser General Public license.

Other Resources

The online Coastline Extractor is no longer available. We recommend using the GSHHG coastline database which is maintained, updated, and extractable using the Desktop Tool (above).

Related Data at NCEI:

Coastal Relief Models

Related NOAA Links:

NOAA Shoreline Website

NOAA Shoreline Data Explorer

NOAA Shoreline Data via the National Geodetic Survey Coastal Mapping Program

NOAA Historical Shoreline Survey Viewer

Related non-NOAA Links

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Digital Nautical Chart

CIA World DataBank II (Rivers and Political Boundaries