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GeoNames User Manual


GeoNames has a simple edit interface that allow users to edit GeoNames information, move a point and add new place names to the GeoNames database. You find the edit interface on top of the google maps display. Click on a marker to open the information window with detail information about the place. In the information window you find a couple of menu links to view detail information like alternate names or the modification history of a place. The most recent updates are available as html page and as rss feed.
In the information window you find also a couple of links to modifiy the information. You can add the basic information like name, population or elevation. You can move a point on the map/satellite display. You can edit the alternate names for a place, this means you can edit other names like 'Big Apple' for 'New York', or 'Nueva York' the Spanish name for 'New York'.

In the following we will look at screenshots and cover the following topics :

The GeoNames Account

In order to modify features and insert new features you will need a GeoNames user account. You can create one here:

The GeoNames Information Window

Click on a marker on the maps/satellite display to open the information window. The information window shows detail information about a place like population, elevation, administrative hierarchy, link to wikipedia and more.
At the bottom of the information window you find menu links for further information like alterate names and you find menu links to modify the information.

Edit GeoNames Basic Information

Clicking on the 'edit' link in the information window opens a form to edit the information. In the screenshot below we add the elevation to the mountain 'Säntis'.

Move a point

In order to correct the coordinates of a place click the 'move' link. You can now either enter gps latitude and longitude or click on the correct location on the map.

Edit Alternate Names

Alternate names are used to store and display name variants. In the screenshot below we add the Italian name 'San Gallo' to the first order division 'Sankt Gallen'. We set the 'is short name' flag to indicate that this is a short name for the long name 'Cantone di San Gallo'.


The language code is referring to the ISO-639-2 and ISO-639-3 codes. Some Examples:
Pseudo codes:

Add a new placename to the GeoNames database

In the control panel left to the map you find a couple of buttons.

For the creation of new place names go to the location of the new place name and press the 'new' button. If you have the gps coordinates of your place you can enter latitude 'comma' longitude in the search box and press 'showOnMap'. In any case you have to go to the map location of the place to be added to make sure the place does not already exist.
You don't have to enter country and administrative division in the entry form. These information will automatically be 'reverse geocoded' from the location of the place during the save process.
You have to be logged in to add a place name. This restriction helps to prevent vandalism.

Guidelines :

screen shot 1

After pressing the add button you point with the mouse to the location of the new place name on the map. As soon as you have clicking on the map an edit form will open and you enter the place name, the feature class and the feature code of the new place name. Optionally you may also add elevation and population.

screen shot 2

Country (Switzerland) and administrative division (Ticino) are automatically derived.
screen shot 3