[OSGeo-UK] Unlock - EDINA's gazetteer and geoparser services

Jo Walsh jo.walsh at ed.ac.uk
Tue Dec 8 05:49:54 EST 2009

dear all,

EDINA recently re-launched a set of web services that provide

  * gazetteer functions, placename and feature type search,
    returning points, bounding boxes or footprints:
  * automatic extraction and georeferencing of placenames from free text:

EDINA makes Ordnance Survey GB's data available for research and 
teaching through the Digimap platform - http://edina.ac.uk/digimap
If you're attached to an academic body that has a subscription
to the Digimap OS Collection, you can register for an Unlock API key
and use the place search based on OS data sources - the 1:50K gazetteer, 
BoundaryLine, Meridian2, CodePoint and extracts from MasterMap.

Unlock Places also provides an open data alternative with global 
coverage based on geonames.org - taking daily database updates from 
geonames and encouraging Scottish archival projects to contribute back. 
Geonames-based gazetteer is made available as an open, public service.

My happy anticipation of the release of some OSGB data in the Spring 
exceeds the power of adjectives to express. Though there is still 
uncertaintly as to exactly *what* will be released, it should at a 
minimum include CodePoint and BoundaryLine, and we'll be able to justify 
putting more work into shape-based queries and into exposing more of 
PostGIS' spatial functions via web service API.

So I'm keen to get some feedback on this:
- a shortlist of potential API functions which, if someone expresses a 
real need relating to their research work, we can look at implementing.

I'm also very interested in getting more feedback on the text parser 
from people who have been working with alternatives (such as Yahoo! 
PlaceMaker - http://developer.yahoo.com/geo/placemaker/ )

be well, all,


Jo Walsh

Unlock places - http://unlock.edina.ac.uk/
phone: +44 (0)131 650 2973
skype: metazool

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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