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Query data from and return RDF/Semantic Web data.

Project description


This is a client library for the Geonames RDF-compatible web-services. At this time, only the Search API provides RDF responses and is, therefore, the only adapter available.

RDF is often used in association with the Semantic Web and/or the IoT.


  • requests
  • Python 2.x or 3.x


Via PyPI:

$ sudo pip install geonames_rdf


As a library:


_USERNAME = 'your_username'
sa =

results = sa.query('detroit').country('us').max_rows(5).get_flat_results()
for id_, name in results:
    # make_unicode() is only used here for Python version-compatibility.
    print(geonames.compat.make_unicode("[{0}]: [{1}]").format(id_, name))

When used as a library, you can use the following through execution functions to render a result (get_flat_results is used above):

  • get_xml: This returns a raw lxml.etree object that you can work against.
  • get_xml_nodes: This returns a list of Feature lxml.etree objects from the resulting document, representing each of the results.
  • get_flat_results: This simply yields a list of (id, name) 2-tuples if you’re not interested in anything else. This is also what’s returned using the command-line utility.

As a command-line utility:

$ gn_search dsoprea -p query detroit -p country us -p max_rows 5
[]: [Detroit]
[]: [Detroit-Warren-Livonia]
[]: [Detroit Lakes Airport]
[]: [Detroit City Airport]
[]: [Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport]

You may only provide string (non-boolean) parameters to the command-line utility.

No matter what method you’re using, the parameters that are available to be used are the following:

Library Parameter Name API Parameter Name
query q
place_name_like name
place_name_equals name_equals
place_name_starts_with name_startsWith
max_rows maxRows
start_row startRow
country country
show_country_first countryBias
continent continentCode
admin_code1 adminCode1
admin_code2 adminCode2
admin_code3 adminCode3
feature_class featureClass
feature_code featureCode
population_class cities
language lang
verbosity style
force_matching_name isNameRequired
tag tag
operator operator
charset charset
fuzzy fuzzy
east_west_north_south_box east,west,north,south
place_name_language searchlang
order_by orderby

Some of the parameters can be specified more than once. See the API documentation for more information.

Design Notes

  • Note that most of the parameters in the library are named differently from the API. Normally this goes against my policy, but I found so many of the parameters to be ambiguous or cryptic that I renamed those parameters, and converted the rest to underscore-separated naming while I was at it.
  • We mostly rely on the API to correctly validate against bad parameters. We don’t like arbitrarily validating parameters in the client since the rules may change in the server and it’s one more thing that might interfere with your implementation. However, if there is a type of validation that, for one reason or another, makes sense and/or would make things easier to develop against, let me know.

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