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Database and web services
The GeoNames database contains over 8,000,000 geographical names corresponding to over 6,500,000 unique features. All features are categorized into one out of nine feature classes and further subcategorized into one out of 645 feature codes. Beyond names of places in various languages, data stored include latitude, longitude, elevation, population, administrative subdivision and postal codes. All coordinates use the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84).
Those data are accessible free of charge through a number of Web services and a daily database export. The Web services include direct and reverse geocoding, finding places through postal codes, finding places next to a given place, and finding Wikipedia articles about neighbouring places.
The core of GeoNames data base is provided by official public sources, of which quality may vary. Through a wiki interface, users are invited to manually edit and improve the data base by adding or correcting names, move existing features, add new features, etc.
Semantic Web integration
Each GeoNames feature is represented as a Web resource identified by a stable URI. This URI provides access, through content negotiation, either to the HTML wiki page, or to a RDF description of the feature, using elements of the GeoNames ontology. This ontology describes the GeoNames features properties using the Web Ontology Language, the feature classes and codes being described in the SKOS language. Through Wikipedia articles URL linked in the RDF descriptions, GeoNames data are linked to DBpedia data and other RDF Linked Data.