Blog about the GeoNames project. is compiling a worldwide database of public domain geographical data from various sources. The GeoNames database is not only searchable and downloadable, but also directly accesible via numerous webservices free of charge. The database contains more than 6 Million toponyms in several layers, whereof ca 2.2 Mio populated places. For numerous countries postal code information is available and may be used for address geocoding.

The rss feed for the blog is here :

34 Responses to “About”

  1. Robert Says:

    Hi there,

    I have a question: could it be, that the database you’re using for the georss-service is a different one then the one you are offering on ? Because there are several cities I can get by using the rss-service, but not when I download the database.
    And second, out of curiousity, your service is quite fast, but you must be searching through a database of millions and millions of records. How do you do that, in terms of performance?
    thanx, Robert

  2. marc Says:

    Hi Robert

    The database is exactly the same. Do you have an example for a city you are missing in the dump?

    The search engine is using an inverted index. It is the same technique google and other search engines are using.



  3. Lutz Says:

    I’m searching for a webservice which allows one to find a city via latitude and longitude.

    Since you have all the information which is nessasary to implement such kind of service I would like to ask you to expand your interface with the parameters latitude and longitude.

    Kind regards

  4. marc Says:

    Hi Lutz

    What you are looking for is called ‘reverse geocoding’. Geonames has a couple of reverse geocoding web services :

    Kind regards,


  5. Lutz Says:

    Hi Marc,

    thank you – that is exactly what I was looking for.


  6. Stephanie Says:

    How should we show attribution on our site if we use the GeoNames database?



  7. marc Says:

    Hi Stephanie

    A link on your site would be nice. You can put it where and how you see fit.

    Kind regards


  8. Steven Shearer Says:

    The current rssToGeoRSS web service includes the optional Country parameter. Could this service be extended to include an optional ‘Region (within Country)’ parameter ?

    The problem is large countries (eg. Canada) with same (or similar) place names that exist in multiple regions (ie. provinces).

    I’ve been experimenting with the rssToGeoRSS web service to show RSS newsfeeds on GoogleEarth. There are a number of cases where the identified place is either:
    1. found in the wrong province (because my selected newsfeeds are province-specific), or
    2. a secondary placename in the news article, but found ‘first’ by the web service.

  9. marc Says:

    You are right, Steven. An additional parameter could really help with focusing the parser on a particular region. There are many other way how the parser could be improved and I hope we will find the time to work more on it.


  10. George Says:

    Hello Marc,

    We are trying to correct some mistakes for areas in Greece and also to add some beaches in Greece but we are facing a problem. The ADM1 details of them are not updated correctly and are shown as GR.undefined although we have chosen a valid AMD1 element. To see what I mean, check these two search pages:


    Thank you in advance.


  11. marc Says:

    The thread about the administrative divisions in Greece is continued on the mailing list:

  12. S.Greichunos Says:

    Don’t know if this is right forum for this, but I am trying to do genealogy for father, born Sweden, emigrated USA 1921, age 19. Can find little stateside except passenger manifest of arrival listing Holmbergat Filipstad Sweden. Can’t locate “Holmbergat” or “Halonbergat” (latter listed as origin of aunt’s passenger documentation) anywhere. Anyone know where this was exactly relative to Filipstad? Appreciate all help.

    • Andrew Dalke Says:

      Not sure if you’re going to get this, but “Halonbergat” looks like a transcription error, or perhaps it uses a regional dialect form which is no longer in use. The name should likely be Hallonberget (Hallon = raspberry, berget = the mountain, giving ‘The Raspberry Mountain’). The other one should be “Holmberget” would mean something like “The Islet Mountain.” Note that in Swedish those have to end with “et” and not “at” as you’ve written.

      I checked with a Swedish mapping site but could find no modern reference to either one near Filipstad. It would likely be the name of a parish or homestead, and may no longer exist.

      • Hello, Andrew ~ Just now saw your most helpful reply to my query of last year. Thank you so very much for your help! Appears you’re right about the transcription error; it was Holmberget, and yes it’s technically no longer in existence. Interestingly, I “bookmarked” on Genline’s FamilyFinder records database several GID’s which contained vital information on my Swedish ancestors. But until recently I didn’t have a printer to print them out. Well, I got the printer but then my computer suddenly crashed, and when I got it running again, my saved GID records on Genline had been cleared! (And foolishly, I’d never gotten ’round to making a backup flash drive of the contents of my hard drive.) I’m having to reconstruct several months’ work on Genline, a very hard lesson for me. I just hope I can find all the record pages I found before. Thank you once again for your help. Best regards, Sue

  13. Eric Lindgren Says:

    You have a very wrong population number for Huntsville Ontario Canada (7972). The number should be 19579, as quoted on the town website using figures from the Financial Post (FP Markets
    Canadian Demographics 2007
    Financial Post}

  14. Bob Says:


    Could you supply the IP ranges needed to access geonames from behind a firewalled server that is not open to internet in general?


  15. Hi.

    I thought you might be interested in a project I’ve been working on: the CityNewsGlobe.

    This software is a new way of browsing international news. By focusing on cities and highlighting places where news is increasing, this software highlights news differently than what you might see on CNN. The idea is to leave users with a real sense of what is happening *all over* the world.

    I’m curious what you think of it.


  16. Rob Says:

    I am trying to get labels for water bodies to show up in Google Earth and ended up on this GeoNames web site. I can’t find a “help” or FAQ link on how to use GeoNames. Is there something I’m supposed to download and install into Google Earth?

  17. Stalberg Says:

    Fact sheet of Soderbarke, Sweden.
    Sirs, in your fact sheet of Soderbarke, Sweden, you say it lies at about 79 m height.
    Sorry, but this is not correct. At the official map for Sweden,
    the Church of Soderbarke has a height of 106,34 meters.

    I would appreciate if you’d correct this figure.

    Lennart Stalberg

  18. Rob Says:

    Hello Geonames,
    I was interested in finding out if you have determined if there is any country code, even an unofficial non-ISO one, that is being used for reference to South Sudan?


  19. Gus Says:

    Your entry for the capital of Ontario on this link is incorrect, Ottawa is the capital of Canada, Toronto is Ontario’s capital city.


  20. Guy le Roux Says:

    Can you please let me know why
    “Koekenaap” is a railroad siding and not a small town.

    Saken din er oppdatert. Hvis du vil legge til flere kommentarer, kan du svare på denne e-posten.

    NRK (Yr)

    Apr 14, 14:25


    Thank you for your feedback for the location Koekenaap. In the location database ( we are using, Koekenaap is now registered as “railroad siding”. “Railroad siding” is not one of the location categories we import into our location system.

    If you think this is not the correct category for Koekenaap, it is possible to update at This location database is also used by other websites and services.


    NRK (Yr)

    Apr 5, 14:50


    Thank you for your feedback, and great to hear you like our weather service. We have registered the problem with the missing location and will look into it. Our new mobile web page should include more locations than the previous, so we hope you find the forecast for another location nearby until we have solved the problem.



    Apr 4, 14:15

    Your service is the best ever. I cant find Koekenaap any more. It just says no such place.

    This email is a service from Yr.


  21. a writer Says:

    Hi, are there any plans to enable SSL on the API ? You could use Let’s Encrypt. Thank you!

  22. D Says:

    Hi Marc,

    there is a mistake in the
    service – it returns “Turners Falls” as city for zip 01349. the correct name is “Millers Falls”

    the file you use is not updated it seems. the file from US census (2014) looks up to date:

  23. Owais Rashid Sofi Says:

    Hi there,

    I have a question: could it be, that the database you’re using for the georss-service is a different one then the one you are offering on ? Because there are several cities I can get by using the rss-service, but not when I download the database.
    And second, out of curiousity, your service is quite fast, but you must be searching through a database of millions and millions of records. How do you do that, in terms of performance?
    Please rply

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