I recently came across this blog post www.gnuplotting.org/plotting-the-world/ that used a file that holds a basic map of the world. Is there a name for this kind of data. Also is there a repository of similar but higher resolution data.

Direct link to data: www.gnuplotting.org/data/world.dat

2 Answers 2


The world.dat file is a file format specifically for GnuPlot. I haven't heard of it in use anywhere else and I couldn't find anything.

In a more recent blog post on that same site, the author talks about updating the world.dat file with better data - specifically from Natural Earth. Since the author starts with shape files, this same data flow could be used on pretty much anything as the shape file format is pretty ubiquitous.


You can create your own maps for gnuplot from image files or shapefiles by using the R package Rgnuplot.

It can also plot in a dozen cartographic projections

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