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Regionally Accessible Nested Global Shorelines
Regionally Accessible Nested Global Shorelines

RANGS is the abbreviation of “Regionally Accessible Nested Global Shorelines”.

In digital format, it provides closed shoreline polygons in each 1° x 1° grid cell of the global surface. The polygons are nested in 4 levels, land in ocean, lakes on land, islands in lakes, and ponds on islands. They are available in 5 resolution levels, the highest about 100 m. Details are published in the article

Feistel, R.: New Shoreline Map-Drawing Data Available. Eos, June 1, 1999, Vol. 80, No.22, Page 249. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Electronic Supplement, June 7, 1999, available at

RANGS - Regionally Accessible Nested Global Shorelines
A binary file set RANGS (Regionally Accessible Nested Global Shorelines) based on GSHHS (Global Self-consistent Hierarchical High-resolution Shorelines) data. Regional access speeds up drawing of world-wide high resolution polygons, nested structures are required for land masking or rendering with tools like OpenGL . GSHHS is a modified PC version of the files computed by Wessel & Smith . GSHHS is self-consistent and can be used for drawing shorelines on its own. RANGS is an access directory to GSHHS and can only be used together with GSHHS. GSHHS and RANGS are available at different resolution levels. RANGS has been published in EOS, the Newspaper of the AGU, June 7, 1999.
RANGS.pdf 135kB Details
RANGS.frm 4kB For using RANGS, here is an example program in Visual Basic
FILL.frm 11kB Still in VB, but using Win APIs to be faster and capable of filling 87MB A Java Demo program has been written by David Mikesell (University of Virginia)
(incl. GSHHS/RANGS files, from University of Virginia) 87MB incl. GSHHS/RANGS files, from IOW-Mirror 29kB without GSHHS/RANGS files, from IOW-Server
Resolution Download RANGS
Download GSHHS
< 100m
rangs(0).zip [2.4MB]
gshhs(0).zip [59.8MB]
 200m rangs(1).zip [2.1MB] gshhs(1).zip [14.7MB]
1km rangs(2).zip [1.3MB] gshhs(2).zip [3.7MB]
5km rangs(3).zip [0.8MB] gshhs(3).zip [0.8MB]
25km rangs(4).zip [0.7MB] gshhs(4).zip [0.1MB]