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Q: Database of world cities + GPS coordinates + population? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Database of world cities + GPS coordinates + population?
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: nickgray-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 23 Nov 2004 03:46 PST
Expires: 23 Dec 2004 03:46 PST
Question ID: 432778
Where can I find and download a free master database of world cities which includes
latitude, longitude, and population data?  I am looking for a minimum
of 100,000 data points and as many as two million. Preference will be
given to recently updated (as current as possible) figures, but I
understand that with worldwide data "beggars can't be choosers."

With minimal hacking, I should be able to create a text file from this
database to export in the following format:


As an example,
ALPHARETTA - 34.122744 - 84.296757 - 157860

(Those are only sample coordinates and not exact.)

Thanks in advance!
Subject: Re: Database of world cities + GPS coordinates + population?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 23 Nov 2004 05:12 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

There's a very nice site called the World Gazetteer that has the data
you need, in a neat, downloadable file:

From the main page, click on the link that says:

other statistics.....various statistics: tables, maps and downloadable data  

and from the page that comes up, click on the link that says:

popdata (1.4 MB) 

Unzip the file, and've got your data (lots of it!)

This should do the trick.  But before rating this answer, please let
me know if you have any questions.  Just post a Request for
Clarification and I'll be happy to assist you further.


search strategy:  Used bookmarked files for geography

Request for Answer Clarification by nickgray-ga on 24 Nov 2004 04:13 PST
Thanks for the quick reply!

However, I counted the cities in this list and there are only 61,860
towns (my question requested a minimum of 100,000). Can you provide me
with more city listings?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 24 Nov 2004 05:31 PST

I had estimated the number of city names, but somehow I must have goofed.  

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to help at this point.  I do know of a
HUGE file of city names -- 220MB worth (and that's its zipped size!)
-- that probably contains over a million names with lat/long data but
no population data, I'm afraid.

Beyond that, I've come up empty handed.  If you'd like me to withdraw
my answer, let me know so I can notify the editors.  That way, another
reasearcher would be free to give this a try.

Best of luck with your project.


Request for Answer Clarification by nickgray-ga on 24 Nov 2004 06:25 PST
Please send me a link where I can download that large file, and we'll
call it even, Steven!  I'll try to make the first file work for our
needs, and if it doesn't, well we'll just have to do without
population data. Thanks for your help answering this question.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 24 Nov 2004 06:58 PST
Here's the link I mentioned earlier:

It's from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (who knew...?).

Click on the text that reads:
"Download a single compressed (zip) file that contains the entire
country files dataset - ~220MB compressed, ~720MB uncompressed,
generated on 2004-10-31"

Like I said, it's a big one!

By the way, the world-gazetteer download that I originally steered you
to contains several files, including the main city-names file, as well
as an altnames file that contains alternative names for many towns in
the city-names file.

The altnames file doesn't include population data.  But I just wanted
to make sure you were aware of it, because combining the two files
would put you over the 100,000 limit, I think.

Good luck with your project.

nickgray-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Cool! Close is good enough, considering the quick speed to (partially)
answering my question.

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