Application Identification for free GeoNames Web Services

January 28, 2011

To cope with the increasing number of smartphones GeoNames has to introduce an application tracking for the free web services. The current system of limiting credit usage per IP address is replaced by a system that tracks usage per application.
GeoNames is now serving over 25 million requests daily, half of which originate from smartphones.

free web service user agents, January 2011

The new domain api.geonames.org will now host the free web services. It requires that the mandatory parameter username=<geonames username> be appended to all requests. You can register a username here.
The domain ws.geonames.org domain will remain operational for a grace period to allow applications to update to the new domain.
We know it is a hassle to have to change the call, but the load and performance problems on the free servers have become unacceptable and need to be addressed.

In order to improve the performance on the free servers we had to reduce the radius upper limit for the findNearbyPostalCodes and the findNearbyWikipedia services. The default radius was also reduced.

Despite the new system we are still looking for Sponsors to help cope with the costs of running the free services. The more sponsors the more requests can be handled.

Thanks to our sponsors:

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3 Responses to “Application Identification for free GeoNames Web Services”


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ekes and IT Blog Network, Semantic Web Blogs. Semantic Web Blogs said: #Semantic #Blogs Application Identification for free GeoNames Web Services …: Blogroll. Geospatial Semantic We… http://bit.ly/h5k0kp [...]


  2. Can you explain in more detail how the credits system will work? For instance, I see mention of a 30,000 credit limit, but is that a lifetime application limit, a monthly limit, or different? How much will it cost to purchase additional credits?

  3. marc Says:

    The 30k credit limit is per day.
    There are several plans for the premium services:
    http://www.geonames.org/commercial-webservices.html


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