I am looking for a simple point shapefile which indicates where the cities of the world are. I cannot seem to find one which is free of charge and meets my requirements. Ive got this one: http://techcenter.jefferson.kctcs.edu/data/ but I want smaller cities too...

Any ideas where I can get them?

5 Answers 5


Populated Places 1:10m (Natural Earth) Shapefile

7343 Cities

enter image description here

Download from http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-cultural-vectors/ (Populated Places)

Terms of Use http://www.naturalearthdata.com/about/terms-of-use/

No permission is needed to use Natural Earth. Crediting the authors is unnecessary.

However, if you wish to cite the map data, simply use one of the following.

Short text: Made with Natural Earth


Are there any parameters on the cities you want?

GeoNames might be a good resource. Under their tools page there is a GeoNames csv file to shapefile converter. It might take a little bit of work and sifting through the data to get exactly what you want.


Must it be a shapefile? Google Maps offer something like you asked as a kml file (kmz in fact, which is just a zip containing a kml), at https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zMlf_4RO8x7E.kllT447wz1Ws&msa=0&ie=UTF8&t=m&ll=8.407168,165.9375&spn=130.849955,280.898438&z=2&source=embed

  • Nope. I can work with a kml/kmz file. But the link you gave me has an even coarser resolution...
    – four-eyes
    May 8, 2015 at 14:07

ArcGIS Hub offers this data with 2,540 records. The POP_RANK field looks useful for classifying the cities.


You can find this information for free, in the page of ArcGIS Hub. Here is the link:


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