About the Map Data

Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software.

Natural Earth was built through a collaboration of many volunteers and is supported by NACIS (North American Cartographic Information Society), and is free for use in any type of project (see our Terms of Use page for more information).


Natural Earth solves a problem: finding suitable data for making small-scale maps. In a time when the web is awash in geospatial data, cartographers are forced to waste time sifting through confusing tangles of poorly attributed data to make clean, legible maps. Because your time is valuable, Natural Earth data comes ready-to-use.

Allows you more vacation time!

Neatness Counts

The carefully generalized linework maintains consistent, recognizable geographic shapes at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110m scales. Natural Earth was built from the ground up so you will find that all data layers align precisely with one another. For example, where rivers and country borders are one and the same, the lines are coincident.

Draw pretty pictures!

GIS Attributes

Natural Earth, however, is more than just a collection of pretty lines. The data attributes are equally important for mapmaking. Most data contain embedded feature names, which are ranked by relative importance. Other attributes facilitate faster map production, such as width attributes assigned to river segments for creating tapers.

Increases your GeoIQ!

Three Levels of Detail

Large scale data, 1:10m

The most detailed. Suitable for making zoomed-in maps of countries and regions. Show the world on a large wall poster.

1″ = 158 miles
1 cm = 100 km

Medium scale data, 1:50m

Suitable for making zoomed-out maps of countries and regions. Show the world on a tabloid size page.

1″ = 790 miles
1 cm = 500 km

Small scale data, 1:110m

Suitable for schematic maps of the world on a postcard or as a small locator globe.

1″ = 1,736 miles
1 cm = 1,100 km