I'm having a look at http://code.highcharts.com/mapdata/countries/gb/gb-all.js

However I'm having trouble identifing a list of counties from this geojson data.

I've managed to get a rough list by checking for a property type feature of 'Administrative County'.

  • 1
    I think a question like this may be better researched/asked at the Open Data Stack Exchange.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 20, 2016 at 2:17

5 Answers 5


A simple approach is to make one if you can't find one. Get the free OrdnanceSurvey OpenData Boundaries dataset. This contains several boundary datasets in either Shapefile or MapInfo formats. Identify the one you need and load it into a competent GIS (QGIS is free). Then export as GeoJson. Alternatively use org2ogr (also free) to convert it on the commandline.

To get a full set of the county boundaries for Great Britain (not UK) from the Boundary Line data, open 'District_borough_unitary_regions' and then dissolve by 'FILE_NAME'. In a few instances (Leicester being one) the county-city will have a separate boundary (being a unitary authority in its own right). Dissolving with a reg-ex expression, or using a look-up table of counties and county-cities and some judicious table joining will sort that out.

You should be able to extract them from OSM data (e.g. Geofabrik). You will need to filter the polygons to extract just the administrative boundarie. According to the documentation, you need Admin level 6 (administrative counties / Unitary authorities, City of London)... but since this is both unitary authorities AND counties you have the exact same problem as above (which is not surprising since OSM uses the OS Open Data). A quick visual check confirms the OSM Admin-level 6 boundaries and the OS open data boundaries are almost identical. The one advantage of this is you can get the whole of the UK from OSM.

  • I assume you mean the 'Boundary-Line' dataset? This does not seem to include Ireland / Northen Ireland. Jan 28, 2015 at 15:15
  • Ordnance Survey is England, Wales and Scotland only. Northern Ireland is OSNI (no opendata) nidirect.gov.uk/ordnance-survey-of-northern-ireland and Ireland (no opendata) is osi.ie/Products/Digital-Products.aspx
    – Mapperz
    Jan 28, 2015 at 16:04
  • Regarding the OrdanceSurvey boundries dataset, I've tried to extract the counties however it seems to missing a few (I'm looking at the county_region layer). Jan 28, 2015 at 16:44
  • See my edits above. I have spoken to OS about the 'missing data' in the past and there is some 'logic' to it but I forget what they said. Jan 29, 2015 at 8:38
  • Could doing a lookup using counties and county-cities be done using QGIS? If so do you know of any tutorials / documentation on how to accomplish this task? Many thanks for all your help. Jan 29, 2015 at 10:33

I would download data from here if nothing works and convert shapefiles into geojson.

  • Does anyone know if there is any license for this dataset? Jan 29, 2015 at 15:21
  • The license says "The data are freely available for academic use and other non-commercial use. Redistribution, or commercial use, is not allowed without prior permission. Using the data to create maps for academic publishing is allowed." gadm.org/license.html
    – njh
    Dec 18, 2018 at 9:51

I ended up using RafealJS with the following SVG file: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:SVG_maps_of_the_United_Kingdom#mediaviewer/File:British_Isles_in_counties.svg

  • Did you manage to get WGS84 coordinates out of it?
    – njh
    Dec 18, 2018 at 9:54
  • So GeoJSON isn't a requirement
    – nmtoken
    Jun 19, 2019 at 10:11

Would the Natural Earth Admin 1 data work? http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-cultural-vectors/10m-admin-1-states-provinces/ (again, you'd need too convert from shp to json)

  • it appears the data listed in the question is Copyright (c) 2015 Highsoft AS, Based on data from Natural Earth","copyrightShort":"Natural Earth
    – nmtoken
    Jun 19, 2019 at 10:10

I would download data from here https://geojson.co/ , if you need all the countries in one file, then input - England+Scotland+Wales+Northern Ireland, unless you need each county in a separate file, then you just input each country name one after the other download.

  • This link is not currently working for me Aug 7, 2021 at 10:09

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