Is geonames the best data source for finding geographic place names for every place on earth? Or is there any open data that comes closer to the level of Google or Apple maps? Just looking for place names, with potentially geographic coordinates, nothing too fancy.

  • Geonames has all places in the world with a population more than 500 (cities500.zip): download.geonames.org/export/dump. Do you need even more than that?
    – stackzebra
    Commented Jan 9, 2022 at 22:34
  • I think everything is in the allCountries.zip file, there are over 12 million items. But I am looking for places, not just cities, like landmarks (waterfalls, mountains, rivers, etc.). Just want to double check this is the best resource.
    – Lance
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 17:14

3 Answers 3


Why not to look on OpenStreetMap data? You can use Nominatim for search, https://nominatim.org/release-docs/latest/api/Search/, you can use Overpass for spatial data queries, like this one for sumits: https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/1fCT. There is a world outside Google and Apple, very often much better mapped.


Geonames does not only include cities, but other features too.

In the tab-limited file, there are fields (columns) for feature class and feature code. http://www.geonames.org/export/codes.html

For example the class with a code "T" (for mountains, hills and rocks) includes a feature with a code "ATOL" (for atolls).


Maxmind has a world cities database too that has a list of cities and countries with geographic coordinates


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