I came across the Natural Earth site www.naturalearthdata.com from an answer on this stack - I've found it a great resource for shape data - probably the best available.

But looking around the site I've become a little concerned that the project is dying:

  • no releases since 2012
  • single blog post since 2012
  • can't register for forums
  • "contact us" / "pitch in" email address bounces
  • subscribing for updates doesn't send any confirmation email
  • email address listed for updates also bounces

Am I over-reacting?

  • Although it took almost 15 mins I was able to download the Natural Earth quick start kit without a problem just now. I too am keen to know the longevity of this great service.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:32
  • 2
    I wonder if anyone who still has a live forum account on their site could cross-post this question? They do seem to have been posting to their forum recently.
    – Mike Honey
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 4:56
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    Have just asked see: twitter.com/mapperz/status/520220575763939329
    – Mapperz
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 14:35
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    @usertwoseventwothreenine - unfortunately the email address behind that link is the same as the "contact us" email address - it bounces.
    – Mike Honey
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 0:19
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    Answer came after i cross-posted at cartotalk: cartotalk.com/index.php?showtopic=9431
    – Martin F
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


Yes, the Issue tracker on Github has taken over as the primary method of filing bugs and questions about Natural Earth. The corrections system and forum on the primary site were always a bit clunky, and the new system has better visibility (and less SPAM to deal with).

Natural Earth's focus has always been about the big picture, and those details aren't expected to change much year to year. It's still an active project.

It looks like emails were bouncing to [email protected] because a quota was reached. I've fixed that in the site admin. I can still login and post to the forums, send me more details of your problem via email.

I leave you with a JFK quote:

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” The same goes for Natural Earth. If you see something wrong, please lean in and fix it.


Although there haven't been any major releases, the data is maintained at https://github.com/nvkelso/natural-earth-vector - as you can see in the list of issues there, there has been updates and comments in the recent while.

  • Sadly this effort appears to have stalled also - no updates for almost 2 years.
    – Mike Honey
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 18:16

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