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Returns world country polygons, lines and points at a specified scale, as provided by GISCO. Also, specific areas as Gibraltar or Antarctica are presented separately. The definition of country used on GISCO correspond roughly with territories with an official ISO-3166 code.


  year = "2016",
  epsg = "4326",
  cache = TRUE,
  update_cache = FALSE,
  cache_dir = NULL,
  verbose = FALSE,
  resolution = "20",
  spatialtype = "RG",
  country = NULL,
  region = NULL



Release year of the file. One of "2001", "2006", "2010", "2013", "2016" or "2020".


projection of the map: 4-digit EPSG code. One of:

  • "4258": ETRS89

  • "4326": WGS84

  • "3035": ETRS89 / ETRS-LAEA

  • "3857": Pseudo-Mercator


A logical whether to do caching. Default is TRUE. See About caching.


A logical whether to update cache. Default is FALSE. When set to TRUE it would force a fresh download of the source .geojson file.


A path to a cache directory. See About caching.


Logical, displays information. Useful for debugging, default is FALSE.


Resolution of the geospatial data. One of

  • "60": 1:60million

  • "20": 1:20million

  • "10": 1:10million

  • "03": 1:3million

  • "01": 1:1million


Type of geometry to be returned:

  • "BN": Boundaries - LINESTRING object.

  • "COASTL": coastlines - LINESTRING object.

  • "INLAND": inland boundaries - LINESTRING object.

  • "LB": Labels - POINT object.

  • "RG": Regions - MULTIPOLYGON/POLYGON object.

Note that parameters country and region would be only applied when spatialtype is "BN" or "RG".


Optional. A character vector of country codes. It could be either a vector of country names, a vector of ISO3 country codes or a vector of Eurostat country codes. Mixed types (as c("Italy","ES","FRA")) would not work. See also countrycode::countrycode().


Optional. A character vector of UN M49 region codes or European Union membership. Possible values are "Africa", "Americas", "Asia", "Europe", "Oceania" or "EU" for countries belonging to the European Union (as per 2021). See About world regions and gisco_countrycode.


A sf object specified by spatialtype.


Please check the download and usage provisions on gisco_attributions().

About caching

You can set your cache_dir with gisco_set_cache_dir().

Sometimes cached files may be corrupt. On that case, try re-downloading the data setting update_cache = TRUE.

If you experience any problem on download, try to download the corresponding .geojson file by any other method and save it on your cache_dir. Use the option verbose = TRUE for debugging the API query.

For a complete list of files available check gisco_db.

World Regions

Regions are defined as per the geographic regions defined by the UN (see Under this scheme Cyprus is assigned to Asia. You may use region = "EU" to get the EU members (reference date: 2021).


cntries <- gisco_get_countries()

ggplot(cntries) +

# Get a region

africa <- gisco_get_countries(region = "Africa")
ggplot(africa) +
  geom_sf(fill = "#078930", col = "white") +