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Where can I find a shapefile that contains boundaries for the major cities in the United States?

I have tried the census website but could not find anything.

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Possible duplicate of gis.stackexchange.com/questions/495/… –  Chethan S. May 25 '11 at 17:16
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@Chethan Good call, but the other question specifically asks about non-US data, so it's not really an exact duplicate. –  whuber May 25 '11 at 18:05

7 Answers 7

did you look at the TIGER data from the census bureau? They are available at http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/

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For the most part, you can get incorporated cities with the Places layer (but beware the Census Designated Place! Take a deep breath and dive into Census definitions here: census.gov/geo/www/2010census/gtc_10.html). The County Subdivision layer may also be helpful. –  neuhausr May 27 '11 at 14:15

A bit old but vaild.

http://www.census.gov/geo/cob/bdy/cc/cc00shp/cc99_d00_shp.zip

http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cob/cc2000.html

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You don't say if you are using esri or not.
ESRI Products come with a "data and maps" dvd.
It is not in shp but can be selected and converted to shape using arcmap.
I installed mine on a network drive in the mapdata folder. The rest of the path is like this.
G:\MapData\ESRI_Data\streetmap_na\data\citylim.sdc

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Check the TIGER/Line files. You want to look for "Place" layers for each state, which you can fine under national based shapefiles by selecting each state. Or, for the 2012 version, you can grab all the states from this page.

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http://www.nws.noaa.gov/geodata/catalog/national/html/cities.htm

The file is large but I guess it can be trimmed per your necessity.

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I suppose you could infer the major cities by size and/or population. In such case, you can use this pre-joined geodatabase which has the 2010 city boundaries along with area AND basic population estimates.

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koordinates.com is a free place to find a variety of city boundary shapefiles. You can even pick the coordinate system. Here is a link to Texas cities.

Do some searching around for other cities. They have a lot on this web site. You do need to create a login.

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