Data for place names from OpenStreetMap prepared for fulltext search. Downloadable. Ranked. With bbox and hierarchy. Ready for geocoding.
Python PLpgSQL Shell
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Latest commit 50c13d8 May 31, 2018

OSM Names Build Status Documentation Status

Database of geographic place names with hierarchy and bounding boxes from OpenStreetMap for full text search downloadable for free:

Target of OSM Names

  • Downloadable gazeteer data a la but each record has bounding box and an importance rank known from Nominatim
  • Data are derived primarily from OpenStreetMap
  • The data format is simple to use tab-delimited text in utf8 encoding (as First line has column names.
  • Different type of records are stored in different files (download and index just what you need, sometimes you don't need POIs or addresses with house numbers)
  • Possible to generate from a country specific extract of Open Street Map (together with vector tiles)

Benefits of OSM Names

  • Direct indexing via fulltext search engines (SphinxSearch, ElasticSearch, etc.)
  • Simple process to get a basic search in place names on a map within minutes
  • Downloading the basic gazeteer data from OSM in usable format is problematic now (a need to process large OSM Planet files)

Sample search server

Data format of tsv export of OSMNames

Details about the output format of OSMNames can be found in the documentation.


The world extract can be downloaded here:

If you want to extract only the information for a specific country, you can use the following command

awk -F $'\t' 'BEGIN {OFS = FS}{if (NR!=1) {  if ($16 =="[country_code]")  { print}    } else {print}}' planet-latest.tsv > countryExtract.tsv

where country_code is the ISO-3166 2-letter country code.

Get Started

The OSM PBF data dump will be download when starting the process. By default it will download the entire world. If you want to change this, edit the .env file and change PBF_FILE_URL. Alternatively, you can manually place a PBF file in the data/import directory and define PBF_FILE with the filename. (For example, to process only a specific country you can use the PBF-files from

We can now start the process with:

docker-compose run --rm osmnames

This will call the script src/ in the docker container, which will execute following steps:

  • Initialize the database
  • Download the pbf
  • Download and import the wikipedia dump
  • Import the pbf file to the database
  • Export names and their bounding boxes to a TSV datasets

If you run the command a second time, some steps will be skipped. To run it from scratch, remove the postgres container, which will destroy the database.

docker-compose kill postgres
docker-compose rm postgres

The process will create a file <import-file-name>_geonames.tsv with all the geonames and <import-file-name>_housenumbers.tsv with the house numbers. To use the export with osmnames-sphinxsearch, have a look at the corresponding section in the readme. A simple command to get started is:

docker run --rm --name klokantech-osmnames-sphinxsearch -v `pwd`/planet-latest_geonames.tsv.gz:/data/input/data.tsv.gz -p 80:80 klokantech/osmnames-sphinxsearch

Afterwards you can access the web interface in a browser with http://localhost.



To run the tests execute following command:

docker-compose run --rm osmnames bash

SQL Style Guide

To have a consistent style of SQL code, try to follow this guideline:

More Documentation

The full documentation of the project can be found here: