I'm trying to develop an application in PHP to plot various points in Europe from a database, and serve them dynamically on a map.

I think this should be relatively straightforward when using a map in the cylindrical projection - but I just cannot find one.

I only require country borders, and pretty low level of detail. The smallest section of the map to be displayed at one time is likely to be the UK, and the largest output size is probably around 1280 x 1024px.

Does anyone know of a freely available (or paid, if free isn't an option) vector?

Many thanks,


1 Answer 1


Download the world borders shapefile from mapping hacks, reproject it to any cylindrical projection you need using ogr2ogr, and you're done.

  • That's looks fantastic. I'm a little out of my depth with ogr2ogr though. I can't see much on reprojection on that cheat sheet. Would you be able to point me in the right direction with the syntax? Thank you! Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 8:46
  • I think I've found the right syntax, only I don't know what format the map is currently in. ogr2ogr -s_srs EPSG:27700 -t_srs EPSG:4326 outfile.shp infile.shp - what should I use as the first argument? Thank you again! Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 8:48
  • It's already WGS84 I guess (spatialreference.org/ref/epsg/4326 -epsg:4326). By the way, that archive (mappinghacks.com/data/TM_WORLD_BORDERS-0.2.zip) is supposed to be an update of worls_borders.shp
    – simo
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 9:26

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