A world gazetteer is a world-wide geographic dictionary index; a combination atlas/almanac. It typically contains information concerning the geographic makeup of a country or region, and the social statistics, e.g. population, GDP, literacy rate, etc. They can be found in reference sections of most libraries.

Gazetteer editors gather information from census reports and organize it in digest form. World gazetters usually consist of an alphabetical listing of countries, with pertenant statistics for each one, with some gazetters listing information on cities of varying sizes. Gazetteers are not limited to describing political features; they can also describe any geographical features such as mountains, waterways, or roads.

A world gazetteer is distinguished from other gazetteers by virtue of its inclusion of the entire world, instead of centering on the statistics of one location. World gazetteers usually offer less detail on each location than other gazetteers.

Table of contents
1 Worldwide
2 US only
3 Canada only


Examples of electronic world gazetteers can be found at:
  • The World Gazetteer
    • for a given city it gives the country, province, population, coordinates, population rank among all towns within the country
    • for each country it gives a map and table of provinces with area and population, a map of cities, an alphabetical table of cities, and a table of top cities
    • for each province it gives an alphabetical table of cities.

  • Global Gazetteer – contains 2,900,000 towns outside the US (more than the other two gazetteers)
    • for a given country and town it gives coordinates, altitude, weather forecast, and a map showing the position of the town with respect to topography and borders and bodies of water (not with respect to other towns); it also lists towns which are very nearby, within 3 km, with direction.

  • World Gazetteer
    • for a given city it gives a map showing the position of the town with respect to some other cities, borders and bodies of water.

  • The Alexandria Digital Library at UCSB
  • The Getty Thesaurus of Geographical names
  • The CIA World Factbook
    • http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/
    • Compiled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, this reference includes country-level data on all countries recognized by the United States. The World Fact Book gives information for each country on geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues.

  • http://www.statoids.com/statoids.html

US only

Canada only