I am new to mapping, and would like to make a custom map using Vietnam's administrative boundaries shape file. I found a great source at gadm.org, but it is licensed for non-commercial use only.

I am not currently planning to do anything commercial, but didn't know if there might be another source that is not as restrictive just so that I don't have to worry down the line? I have looked around and it seems really hard to find.

I looked at OpenStreetMap (OSM), but I think they don't get as specific as the gadm.org files, OSM seems to only get down to rural districts and not the commune level.

I might be wrong about OSM though, as I haven't really delved into it.

  • OSM is user driven, so who knows, you will actually have to look at the data/map. Generally the Admin boundaries are shown in purple, just zoom in and look .. I doubt there is anything there, but someone in Vietnam may put them into the database at some time .. Aug 5, 2014 at 16:00
  • @MarkC Thanks, I took a look at it, and unfortunately there still isn't that level of detail yet. Maybe someday I can add them :)
    – bryant
    Aug 16, 2014 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


The GADM database of Global Administrative Areas has downloadable shapefile up to level four for Viet Nam. One of the best covered country.


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Have a closer look at openmapsurfer ... choose a grayscale layer and the boundary overlay, and zoom to the area you are interested in ... boundary visible?

Then try boundary service by OSM-user wambacher ... choose the country and province etc from the tree menu at the left. Then you can export the boundary silhouette in different formats.

  • I appreciate it, but unfortunately the boundaries on both of these maps go down to the Rural District level (Level 3, I guess?), but don't show the commune boundaries. I'll keep looking.
    – bryant
    Aug 16, 2014 at 6:18
  • Some parts of Vietnam are detailed down to ward level by now, but not all.
    – AndreJ
    Feb 15, 2015 at 7:32

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