Is it possible to obtain the coordinates of water bodies in Google Maps?

I'm in need of acquiring the coordinates of the outlines of all the water bodies inside a country, with the exception of "Sea" or "Ocean" water. Right now, I'm manually outlining the lakes and rivers but it is not a sustainable solution for the magnitude of the application I'm developing.

Even if I can only obtain the data of Lakes or Rivers, that would be a great start. I'm specifically interested in the countries of Malaysia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

My situation brings me to the question of, where does Google obtain its data? Are these data sets available?


Google gets this data usually from TomTom, (former TeleAtlas). The coordinate polygons of that data is not available, at least not without paying much money. This data is usually extracted from aerial fotos. For research projects it might be possible to ask TomTom via your University. An alternative professional quality source is the product NavStreets from Here (former Nokia).

For free you could try OpenStreetMap. You would get coordinates. Unfortunateley the OpenStreetMap data is not always clean or closed polygons. The quality depens much on the country. You can check the countries first by looking in the web browser: provides OpenStreetMap data converisons and extractions of specific countries, e.g in pbf and shp file format, you might check this to.

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