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Discuss Geonames here:

Deriving from OS too

Note: When checking this recently, seems to suggest it's also using some OS data, which is definitly incompatible with both OSM and potentialy with the 'free' licence it's claiming to provide data under. ShakespeareFan00 14:36, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes. To be clear, we're not really arguing that geonames are being wrong or evil, but we are avoiding using them as a source for OpenStreetMap, because we apply very strict (more strict that others) rules about the methods used to collect locations. This is in order to ensure our data is copyright free; A crucial premise of this entire project. Other people have more lax interpretations of what is and is not a derived work, and that's fine. It doesn't make them wrong or evil, but it does mean that OpenStreetMap will not be importing their data. -- Harry Wood 11:34, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Geonames is not GNS is not Geonames suggests that the GNS is fine to import. Why is linked as "Different download link and documentation page" here? Apparently it is fully independent from Geonames (I guess Geonames imports it) and nothing on this page applies to it. Could someone fix this? I am not experienced enough with this and don't want to do a wrong edit. HannesHH 08:14, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

OK fixed. I've always been confused about the relationship between the two. That link was probably one of things confusing me. I've remove it -- Harry Wood 09:16, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Idea: converter script to the Geonames TSV format.

I came across this blog post about using geonames to hack some map visualisations. I'd like to be able to say to him "pah! you should be using OpenStreetMap", but actually it's not that easy to use OpenStreetMap for this particular kind of hack. "The data set is just a tab delimited list of entries. Each entry has a name, a feature type and a more specific feature information, along with latitude and longitude" A XAPI query on place nodes would get you some of the way there, but not all the same features, and not such simple TSV. Clearly this is one of those things were we could easily provide a download in that kind of format, if there was enough demand. If not a download service, we should at least provide (and like on this wiki page) a coverter script osm2geonamesTSV.

Easy development task. I'll do it myself some time maybe

-- Harry Wood 10:58, 8 October 2010 (BST)

OSMNames project

The OSMNames project ( made the scripts converting the OpenStreetMap planet (or extracts) into TSV similar to GeoNames dumps - in case people need to get access to the gazetteer data (place names from OpenStreetMap) in the easily reusable format.

The project also provides dump of the data for direct download at and a basic open-source fulltext search system.

--Klokan (talk) 05:51, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Tag for GeoNames ID

Dear everyone,

a few years ago, when I started using GeoNames, I found a couple of hundred uses of the tag geonames:id, mainly in Turkey. There’s two things I assumed:

  • If a tag is in (substantial) use (and not explicitly deprecated on the wiki), I can use it.
  • Referencing only the GeoNames ID is not equivalent to transfering incompatibly licensed information (e.g. names, object type, location) to OSM.

ملسبكو deleted a couple of dozen of the tags I had added, and we had a short changeset discussion about it. I suppose this wiki page is the reason why ملسبكو (and بشير إبراهيمي too) assumes that the tag geonames:id should not be used.

Can someone who is more experienced on the policy/guidelines side of OSM clarify for me: Can I use geonames:id as long as it’s not rejected in a proposal or deprecated? (And of course as long as I don’t copy information from GeoNames to OSM.) Or could I at least restore the IDs I had already entered – possibly temporarily? That would make it much easier to maybe switch them out for Wikidata or GNS (if possible).

By the way, I would strongly support allowing geonames:id. Using Wikidata as a authority data hub is a good thing. But here, in this geo-specific database, it should be possible to create links to other geo-specific databases. Essentially the same arguments as for Wikidata apply: the IDs can serve as stable identifiers in OSM, and they contribute to making OSM data into linked open data.

Anyway, thanks for any help and advice! Best, Linus Wolf (talk) 16:32, 29 June 2020 (UTC)