now sports SKOS ontology

Rich geographical place name resource gets semantic web makeover.

An interesting mapping resource is available at which comprises a geographical database with over eight million geographical names and features. Features are categorized into nine classes and over 645 geographical feature codes. The data is accessible free of charge through a number of web services and a daily database export.


The dataset has been built up from a number of public data sources including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the US Board on Geographic Names and the US Geological Survey’s geographic names information System. A Wiki allows registered users to improve and correct data.


Most recently, the Geonames dataset has been described by an OWL ontology, with an RDF description of location names, type, and geolocation now available through a new Web Service. The ontology leverages elements of W3C Semantic Web Interest Group’s Basic Geo Vocabulary. Feature types are described using a simple SKOS* vocabulary, which has been embedded in the OWL ontology.


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