GeoBoundaries Database of Global Administrative Zones

GeoBoundaries is a spatial database that records the geographic boundaries of administrative zones across the globe.  The database is made available in a variety of software formats to support GIS software programs.  Contrasting to other administrative boundary datasets, GeoBoundaries is an open product: all boundaries are open and redistributable, and are released alongside extensive metadata and license information to help inform end-users. We update GeoBoundaries on a yearly cycle, with new versions in August of each calendar year; old versions remain accessible through this website.  All we ask in return is that you cite us (and we would love to hear about your use cases):

Seitz, L., Lv, Z, Goodman, S., Runfola, D. “Chapter 3: GeoBoundaries – a Global, Redistributable Map of Administrative Zones.” GeoQuery User’s Guide. Ed. Dan Runfola, Ariel BenYishay, Seth Goodman. Williamsburg, VA: AidData, 2018.

GeoQuery User’s Guide

The current version of GeoBoundaries is 1.3.0, and was released in March 2018. We expect our next major version, 2.0 to be released in August of 2018.

To download the data, you can go directly to

Report Errors or Contact Us

We do our best to correct errors in our data, but admit the dataset is not perfect.  Further, we intentionally do not include any  data that is not both open and redistributable.  If you have data sources we can use to improve our dataset that meet these criteria, or recommend changes to our existing dataset, please contact us at:

Currently Known Issues:

  1. Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently not included when a user requests to download the United Kingdom data layer.
  2. Metadata is not included in all downloaded layers.  If you are looking for specific licensure information for a given file, you can find it in our full metadata repository available for download here.

About the Team

GeoBoundaries has been developed by a large cohort of interested faculty, staff and students based out of the AidData GeoQuery research lab at William and Mary.  The project would not have been possible without:
*Denotes Principal Investigator; **CO-PI and Senior Personnel/Lab Directors)

Version 1.0 – Version 1.3:
Leigh Seitz*
Dan Runfola* (contact at:
Seth Goodman**
Miranda Lv**
Lauren Hobbs
Rachel Oberman**
Graham Melville
Rebecca Youngerman
Josh Panganiban
Allison Bowers
Grace Grimsley
Heather Baier