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World Locate Premium

Technical Detail

The Data

Collins Bartholomew World Locate Premium is a world gazetteer with ~3,600,000 names for ~2,600,000 unique places.

Each place in the gazetteer is given a coordinate location which refers to the designated centre of a settlement, the approximate centre of an area feature, an arbitrary point along a linear feature or the location of the name of a land feature. The coordinates of the feature are stored as longitude and latitude in decimal degrees.

Places are classified by the country and admin division they fall within. 1st order administrative division are complete almost 190 countries with 99.4% of towns worldwide assigned to their 1st order admin division.

Data Format

The standard format for distribution of World Locate Premium is as a colon delimited text file for easy integration within a wide range of software applications. It is also available as a point feature class within an ESRI file geodatabase. Other formats may be available on request.  

The character set used is Unicode UTF-8 by default.

Geographic Coverage

World Locate covers the entire globe: -180,-90 south west to 180,90 north east

Coordinate Information

Coordinate system – Geographic coordinates – longitude, latitude

Units – decimal degrees, also expressed as degree and minute values

Product Update Cycles

World Locate Premium is updated continuously and released in March, June, September and December each year.         


World Locate Premium is split into two files – one for main feature names and one for alternative names. The following tables describe the attributes included in each of the two files.

Main Feature Names – WorldLocatePremium_Main

Link_IDA unique identifier for the feature, which links to other Collins Bartholomew data products, including the alternative names table.All places219437218089
Map_NameThe name that would normally be shown on a map, usually in local formAll placesKöln  Ostrov Greem-Bell
Index_NameThe name that would normally be used in an index, physical names are permutedAll placesKöln  Greem-Bell, Ostrov
Search_NameName in lowercase without spaces or diacritics to facilitate searchingAll placeskolnostrovgreembell
CountryThe country the place falls withinAll placesGermany  Russian Federation
Country_IDThe unique Link ID identifier for the countryAll places207005  207099
Country_ISOThe ISO 3166 code for the countryAll towns where relevantDE   
Admin1The first order admin division the place falls within99% of townsNordrhein-Westfalen  Arkhangel`skaya Oblast`
Admin1_IDThe unique Link ID identifier for the admin1 division99 % of towns380684  708804
Admin2The second order admin division the place falls withinSome townsKöln   
Admin2_IDThe unique Link ID identifier for the admin2 divisionSome towns215979   
Admin_ISOThe ISO 3166-2 code for the admin division. This generally corresponds to our depiction of Admin1 but will be the Admin2 for countries with ‘super-regions’, i.e. in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, France, Italy, Maldives, Nepal, Spain, and United Kingdom.99 % of townsDE-NW   
Physical_LocatorThe physical locator for the place, normally an island nameRelevant towns, some other features Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa
Physical_Locator_IDThe unique Link ID identifier for the physical locatorRelevant towns, some other features 220460
Feature_Class_NameThe Collins Bartholomew feature classification in text formatAll places2ND ORDER ADMIN CAPITAL 3 MILLION TO 4 MILLIONLANDSCAPE NAME SIZE 2
Feature_Class_IDThe ID of the Collins Bartholomew feature classification, links to other Collins Bartholomew data productsAll places206236197115
DescriptorThe term that would normally be used to describe the feature in an indexAll non-town features ISLAND
PopulationThe latest population for the placeLarger towns, admin divisions and countries3084000 
HeightThe height in metres for larger mountains, hills, volcanoes etc.Relevant physical features  
Latitude_DecimalLatitude coordinate in decimal formAll places50.93362  80.87210083
Longitude_DecimalLongitude coordinate in decimal formAll places6.95533  64.04403154
Latitude_DegreeLatitude coordinate, degree partAll places5080
Latitude_MinuteLatitude coordinate, minute partAll places5652
Latitude_HemisphereLatitude hemisphere, N or SAll placesNN
Longitude_DegreeLongitude coordinate, degree partAll places664
Longitude_MinuteLongitude coordinate, minute partAll places573
Longitude_HemisphereLongitude hemisphere, N or SAll placesEE
Time_Zone_CodeMajor time zone codeAll townsP0100 
Time_Zone_NameThe name the time zone is known byAll townsCentral European Time 
Time_Zone_Name_DSTThe name the time zone is known by when DST is onAll townsCentral European Summer Time 
DST_FlagY/N flag to indicate if Daylight Saving Time is usedAll townsY 
DST_On_DateDate the next period of Daylight Saving Time startsRelevant Towns27-MAR-11 
DST_Off_DateDate the next period of Daylight Saving Time endsRelevant Towns30-OCT-11 
UTC_OffsetNumber of hours offset from Greenwich Mean TimeAll towns1 
Time_Zone_Unique_IDUnique ID for combination of time zone and DSTAll towns53 

Alternative Names – WorldLocatePremium_Alts

Alt_IDA unique identifier for the specific alternative name663664930
Link_IDA unique identifier for the feature, which can be used to connect the alternative name to the correct feature in the main table.219437218089
Alt_Map_NameAn alternative name for the featureCologneGraham Bell Island
Alt_Index_NameAn alternative name that would normally be used in an index, physical names are permutedCologneGraham Bell Island
Alt_TypeUsed to identify what type of alternative name is listed. Possibilities are: ALT: A simple alternative name by which the place is sometimes known CONV: A widely recognised English Conventional name form EXONYM: The name in a language other than that spoken locally EXONYMCONV: A conventional name in a language other than that spoken locally FORM: A former name used within the last 50 years HIST: A former name used more than 50 years ago LONG: Long form name SHORT: Short form nameEXONYMCONV
Language_ISOIf ALT_TYPE = EXONYM then this field indicates which language by the language’s ISO code (ISO 639).FRE
Language_NameIf ALT_TYPE = EXONYM then this field indicates which language by nameFRENCH

Quality Standards

Collins Bartholomew takes the greatest of care in assuring the high quality of our data. The data is constantly being updated and revised, with an average of 40,000 name edits each year.

All our database updates are thoroughly researched by our highly dedicated in-house team of professional cartographers and information researchers.

We also use external experts, specialist organisations, official organisations, agencies, government departments and business offices to assist in the information gathering process.

Policy changes (e.g. international boundary changes, new country depiction, name changes) are informed by external experts. For advice on name forms we look to the PCGN (the UK government’s Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use) and BGN (US Board on Geographic Names) plus of course local/country specific information. From this we would make our decision on the ‘de facto’ stance and apply geographical expertise to work out the details.


World Locate Premium is available as a standalone dataset that you can download and store locally, or it can be accessed via one of our secure web services. Whichever you choose, our licence fees are based on the number of concurrent users with fees staring from £1250 per annum.