Geonames

The GeoNames http://www.geonames.org/ geographical database covers all countries and contains over eight million placenames that are available for download free of charge as well as high available commercial services.

GeoNames was among the first to offer a geographical ontology and RDF web services and GeoNames is also part of the Linked Data project.

GeoNames Semantic Web Ontology Overview: http://www.geonames.org/ontology/

New Zealand GeoNames information is provided by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) http://www.linz.govt.nz/

Provides URIs for places, e.g.
Wellington, New Zealand http://sws.geonames.org/2179537/
Sydney, Australia http://sws.geonames.org/2147714/

and explicitly as RDF e.g.
Wellington, New Zealand http://sws.geonames.org/2179537/about.rdf
Sydney, Australia http://sws.geonames.org/2147714/about.rdf

Semantic Web Searches are made as follows:
http://ws.geonames.org/search?q=london&maxRows=10&type=rdf

With the parameter type=rdf the search service returns the result in RDF format defined by the GeoNames Semantic Web Ontology.

GeoNames has a wide range of reverse geocoding webservices. (Reverse geocoding is the process of finding a place name for a given latitude and longitude.)

Full documentation of GeoNames and the services provided are available at http://www.geonames.org/

Data exports are also available: http://download.geonames.org/export/dump/

Other Services utilizing GeoNames:

GeoSparql http://geosparql.appspot.com/ provides a user friendly interface for searching Geonames using Sparql queries. It has some easy to follow examples to get started with.

Sparl query to retrieve information about Sydney, Australia.

PREFIX gn:
PREFIX co:

SELECT ?s ?p ?o
WHERE
{
?s gn:name "Sydney" .
?s gn:inCountry co:AU .
?s ?p ?o
}