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I need to plot point data over a basemap of the Indian Ocean.

Can anyone tell me where I can find such a basemap in shapefile format?

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Welcome to the GIS StackExchange! Please do tell us what you've done so far next time. That way, you'll save us the trouble of suggesting things you've tried already. – R.K. Oct 22 '12 at 8:44

Try Natural Earth, they have ocean data as ESRI Shapefiles, you will however need to split out just the Indian Ocean from the dataset.

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VLIZ provides world maritime boundaries under a reasonable license. See their site for specific downloads.

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