I'm trying to find a .shp file that not only includes international land boundaries, but also the water boundaries, extending out to international waters. Does such a thing exist? I'm not even sure of what terms to search for.

Currently, I'm operating using a world borders map which is mostly good, but when our mobile users approach the ocean and their GPS flakes out a bit, our system can't place them within a country. I figure the best way to fix this is to used a dataset that will always place the national border well away from dry land (and cell towers for their phone).

This project isn't making any money, so I'm hoping for free :-)


1 Answer 1


You're probably referring to the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of each country, which generally delineate the boundary between international waters and national waters. Marineregions.org has probably the best EEZ data freely available, I'd start there, I've used it successfully in a variety of analyses.

  • 1
    EEZs are very different than maritime boundary. EEZs confer to a country the exclusive exploitation below the surface, while the waters remain international waters. To the contrary, countries have full sovereignty within their maritime boundaries.
    – GuillaumeC
    Aug 7, 2014 at 19:28

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