Using and understanding the world-wide city database data

One of the most popular pages on this blog is a post I wrote two years ago titled “World wide cities database and other free geospatial data“. There are still few people out there who realize that not only can you get a free world-wide cities database from the national geospatial ingelligence agency in the US, but they have around 4 million other points around the world that even include things like undersea features, palm groves, vineyards and a lot more.

I got an email from Jamil today asking about how to interpret the data in the NGIA’s database. You can find the data he’s referring to at the NGIA’s site. Each record has a feature classification and a feature designation code. You can see the schema (but without what the codes are) here. For some reason I couldn’t find the actual classifications and designations on the site.

I did find them posted here. The information may be included in the NGIA’s download files – I haven’t checked.