Anyone know where or how to obtain a database of worldwide beaches?
Required fields are:
- coastline aspect (if possible)
Alternatively, is there a way to query Google Maps to find the closest beaches to a given geolocation?
maybe this can help you (shorelines): http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/shorelines/gshhs.html
they have both ESRI shapefile format or binary format
This may be of help for the UK.
Something on this site may be of use for the US but I have no reason to use it so dont know: http://www.fws.gov/gis/data/national/index.html
Hope this helps.
I'm not sure that "beach" is common world-wide. Those things called "beach" in the UK would be "rocks" in Australia.
Note that ODbL requires more than just attribution. A simple version of the rights and responsibilities is at http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/summary/
Maybe try looking at the Places API and try querying on one of the second places types (https://developers.google.com/places/documentation/supported_types#table2). Beaches could possibly be in the 'natural_feature' category but that still doesn't get around the language problem. Good Luck.
I believe the UK English word for beach is "Frigidpebble" ;-P