Country States and Provinces

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    We’re using country state and province shape files over Google maps. I believe we downloaded 1:10m. I noticed that the boundry lines for some countries are better than others. For example, Canada seems more precise that Barbados. In fact, the boundries for Barbados are relatively far off shore and far inland at some points. Egypt is another country where I notice that the shape files aren’t following the boundry markers on Google’s standard maps very well. My question: is is possible that some of the smaller or less developed countries were only available at 1:50 or 1:110 instead of 1:10?

    By the way, I’m not a GIS guy, so please use laymen’s terms! Thanks!



    You’re likely zooming in past the optimal scale of the Natural Earth data. It’s meant for mapping at the 1:10,000,000 scale maximum which is around zoom 7 on Google Maps:,-79.508057&spn=9.24368,11.052246&t=m&z=7&vpsrc=6

    There are other datasets out there if you want to zoom in more. Natural Earth is optimized to be a lightweight dataset compared to those.

    Things could always move over, of course. If you want to do that, download QGIS and toggle the editing mode and move the boundaries over a smidge to fit your needs.

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