US Military and open gazatteer of the world!
This is an amazing resource. The US military has a series of files, open to the public, of every place name in the world [or at least it purports to have – who could check?]. It’s awesome. It even has the phonetic spellings for place names! Should you need to hitch a lift to some small town in Vietnam that hasn’t seen a foriegner since Jonny left in 1972 then you can now tell the cab driver and he’ll understand you. The gazatteer is not to a very granular level – for instance Crouch End, where I live is not listed but the higher level Hornsey, is.
Now you know why the military have this. And why they have a column, curiously empty, of "populated place classification"? Collateral damage?
Anyway, it’s a fantastic resource to build with [though you’d have to be creative to create an sql datadump of the files… ]
UK place names via http://www.geograph.co.uk