Saturday, September 21, 2013

Geo-referencing the location of a place from its name

If you need to geo-reference your data based on the name of a location, there are two useful websites that allow you to search by the name of a location around the world (outside the US) to obtain the latitude and longitude of that location: Global Gazetteer Version 2.1 and NGA GEOnet Names Server.

Global Gazetteer Version 2.1 is used by Huillery (2009) to geo-reference the localities where people interviewed by national household surveys in French West Africa live. It was also used in the construction of the ACLED data (see "Creating a Conflict Manuscript by Clionadh Raleigh).

In addition, Gleditsch and Weidmann (2012) recommends using the JRC Fuzzy Gazetteer to retrieve place names even if the spelling does not match perfectly, as English spellings of foreign
place names rarely are standardized.

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