I need shapes of admin regions as GeoJSON (Multi)Polygons. After looking for an appropriate source for way too long, I found this NE Admin 1 dataset.

Using ogr2ogr to convert the data to GeoJSON, I found features with geometry-type (Multi)LineString. Not quite what I wanted. This guy on GitHub used a different dataset from Natural Earth, but he got (Multi)Polygons. Are there some special options for ogr2ogr, some possible conversions, or is it the dataset?

I need to determine whether a point is in a province/region and with the tools I'm using, that's easiest with polygons. If it happens to be a problem with the dataset, does anyone know an alternative?

That's the command I used for conversion:

ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON -t_srs crs:84 output.geojson ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces_lines.shp`

PS: Most examples I've found specify -t_srs crs:84. I do need WGS84, as I'm also using data from geonames.org. But I'm not sure if I even need the transformation.

2 Answers 2


The clue is in the name :-) You downloaded boundary lines when infact you wanted to use States and Provinces which is a polygon layer.

  • Begginer mistake, we all went through this (secretly)
    – Hugolpz
    Feb 6, 2015 at 11:47
  • Awww, man I'm embarrassed ^^ I thought 'lines' means just the outlines, the shapes and the other one contains more data x) ty! Feb 6, 2015 at 11:59

Regarding your Post Scriptum: You already use the right projection. CRS:84 is synonymous to the EPSG-Code: 4326, which is the Coordinate-Reference-System known as: WSG84.

You can always use EPSG-Codes instead of CRS-Names. EPSG-Codes are not so ambiguous in my opinion.

In your Example, the transform-srs-parameter (-t_srs) would look like this: -t_srs EPSG:4326

Oh, and by the way: you dont need to retransform, when your dataset already has the right projection. So using the set-SRS parameter (-s_srs) would be appropriate in your example.

  • As far as I see, Natural Earth shapefiles are already in WGS84, so no need to transform.
    – AndreJ
    Feb 6, 2015 at 10:15
  • @AndreJ: You are right. Just edited my answer. Feb 6, 2015 at 10:22
  • You don't even need the -s_srs, because that is in the .prj file. And -s_srs without -t_srs would do nothing (no target defined, hence no reprojection).
    – AndreJ
    Feb 6, 2015 at 11:02

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