I am trying to locate a GIS freely downloadable shapefile (preferably polygon) of European main mountain chains (not an elevation data), eg Alps, Carpathian Mountains. I tried variuos sources , including Natural Earth, EEA, and many others, but couldn't find the right data. Can anybody help??

  • Where does a mountain starts for you (difference mountain-hill?). My first approach would be to get largescale elevational data (GMTED2010 or so), subset all mountain chains (by filter out everything below a certain height) and then polygonize the whole raster. – Curlew Jun 17 '13 at 11:00
  • Sure - I am only refering to peaky large mountains - not hills, ~ > 1500/2000m height. I already have variuos DEMs but I wondered specifically if there is a shapefile that already covers this area at an European scale. – Magda Jun 17 '13 at 11:09
  • The problem might be that there is no universal definition of a mountain. Therefore it might be hard to find appropriate datasets and if you do they could rather represent cultural definitions of a mountain rather than your physical (> 1500m) one. I would therefore recommend to ether use the technique i mentioned above or individually digitize the mountain chains. – Curlew Jun 17 '13 at 11:18
  • Among several sources I came across today, I found this thread: cartotalk.com/index.php?showtopic=7078. It mentiones Natural Earth and shapefile that contains "many fields, incl. <mountain> names and elevations", which I can't see on NE website any more. Perhaps getting individual mountain chain shapefiles would also be an option... – Magda Jun 17 '13 at 11:21
  • What he means is probably the point vector label shape available naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-physical-vectors (which displays the name of large mountains) – Curlew Jun 17 '13 at 11:30

At least for Romanian Carpathians you can find the map of relief units (as polygons) on http://earth.unibuc.ro/download/harta-unitati-relief-romania.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.