We present the first high resolution (1:20,000) river centerlines shapefiles from 50 large rivers across the world. Rivers were selected based on the criteria of having more than 1000 km length and which have been reported to have a significant contribution to global fishery production. Since large rivers often span multiple countries, the degree of changes (i.e., anthropogenic or climate derived) varies from region to region. These high-resolution layers were developed to enable researchers to delineate accurate river length, from headwaters regions to their delta and assess or visualize the ongoing changes more accurately in these river systems. Further, these polylines could be used in coordination with satellite derived environmental or landscape variables for ecological research (e.g. predicting biodiversity, estimating biomass).