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Populate your database with free world cities, countries, regions in 2 minutes using a rails migration

  1. Download GeoWorldMap for free.

    2. Unzip files to your db/migrate folder in your rails project.

    3. Create a new migration from your rails root folder:
    script/generate migration places

    4. Open the new migration in your favorite text editor and insert the following:

class Places < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def self.up
    create_table :countries do |t|
      t.string :name, :limit => 50, :null => false
      t.string :fips104, :limit => 2, :null => false
      t.string :iso2, :limit => 2, :null => false
      t.string :iso3, :limit => 3, :null => false
      t.string :ison, :limit => 4, :null => false
      t.string :internet, :limit => 2, :null => false
      t.string :capital, :limit => 25
      t.string :map_reference, :limit => 50
      t.string :nationality_singular, :limit => 35
      t.string :nationaiity_plural, :limit => 35
      t.string :currency, :limit => 30
      t.string :currency_code, :limit => 3
      t.integer :population
      t.string :title, :limit => 50
      t.string :comment, :limit => 255

      t.timestamps
    end

    create_table :regions do |t|
       t.references :country, :null => false
       t.string :name, :limit => 45, :null => false
       t.string :code, :limit => 8, :null => false
       t.string :adm1code, :limit => 4, :null => false

       t.timestamps
     end

     create_table :cities do |t|
       t.references :country, :null => false
       t.references :region, :null => false
       t.string :name, :limit => 45, :null => false
       t.float :latitude, :null => false
       t.float :longitude, :null => false
       t.string :timezone, :limit => 10, :null => false
       t.integer :dma_id
       t.string :county, :limit => 25
       t.string :code, :limit => 4

       t.timestamps
     end
     add_index :cities, :name


     execute "LOAD DATA INFILE '#{RAILS_ROOT}/db/migrate/Countries.txt' INTO TABLE countries
       FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '\"' LINES TERMINATED BY '\r\n' IGNORE 1 LINES;"

     execute "LOAD DATA INFILE '#{RAILS_ROOT}/db/migrate/Regions.txt' INTO TABLE regions
       FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '\"' LINES TERMINATED BY '\r\n' IGNORE 1 LINES;"

     execute "LOAD DATA INFILE '#{RAILS_ROOT}/db/migrate/Cities.txt' INTO TABLE cities
       FIELDS TERMINATED BY ',' OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '\"' LINES TERMINATED BY '\r\n' IGNORE 1 LINES;"


  end

  def self.down
    drop_table :countries
    drop_table :regions
    drop_table :cities
  end
end



5. Run the migration:

rake db:migrate


For US and european countries the database seems to be very good. However other countries are lacking. And there is some weird regions in the database such as no regions for England, AOL is listed as state in Australia & US, and some countries have listed the country name as a region.

There is another free alternative from MaxMind. I like it because it uses ISO-3166 for country and state and it is also include many more cities (2,7 million!). Unfortunately it also has many duplicates of cities.

Written on 15 December 2008.
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