List of cities by country?
October 10, 2006 4:06 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a comprehensive list of cities by country, that can be uploaded to a database. The list needs to show the local name for the city, and if it showed the English version too that would be good, but not essential. I am able to pay if required, though obviously would prefer not to.

As an example of what I'm looking for...


DE München Munich

This site seems to be the closest to what I want, in that it is very comprehensive and has the local version. However, I have some issues with the data, for one although it contains both local and English versions of locations, it does so in seperate rows, i.e. there's a row for Munich, and a seperate row for München.
I've also taken a look here. Again, it's just not quite what I'm looking for. The English version of the name is the primary, and then there is a list of variations, but the proper local version is not clearly specified.
Any suggestions?
posted by chill to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Oh, sorry, my formatting was stripped out on preview. Just to make that example clearer...

DE           München Munich

posted by chill at 4:07 AM on October 10, 2006

Oh crikey, that didn't help did it? My monospaced font was stripped out. Oh well, you get the idea.
posted by chill at 4:09 AM on October 10, 2006

Intriguing - not sure whether it has quite what you're after, but have you checked the UN Population Information Network? If you scroll down the page there's a section for "Cities and Urbanization", and supposedly "Capital cities and cities of 100,000 and more inhabitants, from table 8 of the 1995 Demographic Yearbook (United Nations publication, Sales No. E/F.97.XIII.1)." - unfortunately the links appear to be broken.
posted by Chunder at 4:24 AM on October 10, 2006

Someone on my team has just managed to find me this which actually seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. It is downloadable in Access format from this page.
Ultimately this is intended for (accurately) entering addresses on my company's internal freelance database. Having seemingly solved my original question, and seen the size of the data sets I'm potentially dealing with, I'm thinking that a more sensible approach would be to find a service that maps post codes to addresses. It would probably be more usable to ask people to enter the postcode and then autopopulate the address than it would to ask them to select and country from a drop down, then a county, then a city.
posted by chill at 4:40 AM on October 10, 2006

A lot of those sources get their data from the GNS, which is very comprehensive. It does have the same drawback you mentioned, with each language variant in a separate row, but I think this is unavoidable. Many cities don't just have one "local" name but several, e.g. Wroclaw / Vratislav / Breslau.
posted by migurski at 8:17 AM on October 10, 2006

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