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I am trying to locate a GIS freely downloadable shapefile (preferably polygon) of European main mountain chains (not an elevation data), eg Alps, Carpathian Mountains. I tried variuos sources , including Natural Earth, EEA, and many others, but couldn't find the right data. Can anybody help??

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Where does a mountain starts for you (difference mountain-hill?). My first approach would be to get largescale elevational data (GMTED2010 or so), subset all mountain chains (by filter out everything below a certain height) and then polygonize the whole raster. –  Curlew Jun 17 '13 at 11:00
    
Sure - I am only refering to peaky large mountains - not hills, ~ > 1500/2000m height. I already have variuos DEMs but I wondered specifically if there is a shapefile that already covers this area at an European scale. –  Magda Jun 17 '13 at 11:09
    
The problem might be that there is no universal definition of a mountain. Therefore it might be hard to find appropriate datasets and if you do they could rather represent cultural definitions of a mountain rather than your physical (> 1500m) one. I would therefore recommend to ether use the technique i mentioned above or individually digitize the mountain chains. –  Curlew Jun 17 '13 at 11:18
    
Among several sources I came across today, I found this thread: cartotalk.com/index.php?showtopic=7078. It mentiones Natural Earth and shapefile that contains "many fields, incl. <mountain> names and elevations", which I can't see on NE website any more. Perhaps getting individual mountain chain shapefiles would also be an option... –  Magda Jun 17 '13 at 11:21
    
What he means is probably the point vector label shape available naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-physical-vectors (which displays the name of large mountains) –  Curlew Jun 17 '13 at 11:30

1 Answer 1

At least for Romanian Carpathians you can find the map of relief units (as polygons) on http://earth.unibuc.ro/download/harta-unitati-relief-romania.

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That's great thanks! I also found shapefile for Alps: eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/projects/alpsis/Ecalp_data.html –  Magda Jun 17 '13 at 11:29

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