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I need the data (lat,long) for the world's major river basins boundary. I want to use it in matlab, like "load coast" that gives the coast's boundary.

thank you all

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Have you tried looking? A Google search for the title of this question found free shapefiles at the Global Runoff Data Center: it's on the very first page returned by Google. –  whuber Dec 17 '11 at 19:48

3 Answers 3

Naturalearth offers a global "Rivers + lake centerlines" dataset:

http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-physical-vectors/

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As discussed on a post on French data you have a couple of sources for free data at these links:

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These appear to be France-only datasets. Where on these sites are the worldwide data? –  whuber Dec 22 '11 at 14:12

Maybe this could work:

http://services.arcgisonline.com/ArcGIS/rest/services/Ocean_Basemap/MapServer

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The linked page only talks about oceans. Rivers aren't even mentioned ... Is it just the description that is misleading? –  underdark Jan 21 '12 at 16:55

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