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Geographic data for genealogists.

Identifiers and place names

Identifiers, file and folder names should be the English name of a place, written in ASCII characters. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, some filesystems do not support non-latin characters. Secondly, some countries have multiple official languages and place names.

Where the local name of a place is different to the English/ASCII name, then the translated version is stored as a property of the data.geojson file.

Where there are several places with the same name, include disambiguation in parentheses.

  • England/Northamptonshire/Ashton (near Oundle)
  • England/Northamptonshire/Ashton (near Roade)

Places, regions and hierarchy

The hierarchy of places should be the one prefered by the majority of genealogists. For example, British genealogists tend to use the traditional counties in preference to the modern administrative regions.

However, genealogical data often refers to regions that no longer exist, or that are not part of the preferred geographical hierarchy. We may know that someone was born in "Ireland" - without knowing if the birthplace was in Northern Ireland or the Replublic of Ireland.

Therefore, we include details of such regions, as an aid to locating them on a map.


Coordinates should use a maximum of 5 decimal places. This is a resolution of approximately one metre.

Which flag

Many countries have different state flags and civil flags. Here we use the civil flag.

Many territories have disputed ownership or have no official flag. For example, Northern Ireland. Here we use the flag that, according to Wikipedia, has the widest recognition.

Image format

Images must be in SVG format. Tools exist to convert bitmaps such as PNG into SVG.

geojson format

You can validate geojson files using


This project can only accept contributions that are in the public domain or that have a free redistribution licence. Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons are a great source of such data!


Geographic data for webtrees






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