Finding geospatial data for xamWebMap

[Infragistics] Devin Rader / Monday, January 19, 2009

The xamWebMap control which we released with our last Silverlight data visualization CTP uses a popular file format called Shapefiles as its source for geo-spatial shape data.  A Shapefile actually consists of a several different individual files, includes a .shp file which actually contains the shape polygons and a .dbf file which contains data associated with each polygon.  We chose to use Shapefiles as our primary shape data source because of the popularity of the format and because there are so many free sources of Shapefiles available on the Internet.  The list below includes links to a variety of sources of free Shapefiles you can use with the xamWebMap.


CDC – Boundary files for all seven continents

Intact Forests

Various types of data

Various World and Continental shapes

North America

NWS GIS – AWIPS Shapefile Database

NWS – Weather data

National Atlas

US Census

North American Transportation Atlas

South America

Amazon mapping of ecological systems

Hydrologic data


Southern Africa Humanitarian and Disaster GIS Library

Southern Africa Human Development Initiative


EEA Reference grids

CloudMade OpenStreetMap


Central Asia Rivers

Former Soviet Union Data


Australian Spatial Data Directory


This list is just a sample of some places where shapefiles can be found, and of course there a a bunch of utilities out there that let you convert from other formats like KML and DWG to the shapefile format .  If you find good sources of shapefiles, let me know and I will add them to the list.