All the places in the world

Lots of countries gradually loading into one of our servers. There’s 220Mb of data comprising 227 countries, with about 5,000,000 places altogether. With a global population of about 6 billion, that means the average “place” has 1,200 people living in it. For each place we have the latitude and longitude. (All this data comes from the US military)

Try it out by signing up for a local alert in any country. Let us know if you find any bugs, or have any problems or suggestions to make. Also, if you want access to this gazetteer as a web service, send us a mail.

Currently it’s up to Uruguay, it’ll be a bit longer before we’ve finished the alphabet. It takes quite a while partly because of the volume of data and indices being built, partly because for places with the same name as each other it hunts for nearby towns to disambiguate, and partly because we didn’t optimise the perl script. It won’t run very often.