GeoNames is a set of  free and downloadable geographical databases of all countries which includes over 8 million place names.

The data comes in tab-delimited + utf-8 formatted text files and can be downloaded as a whole or per country.

Besides the locations of the places/cities/countries, databases include supplementary data like capitals, statistics, timezones and more.

GeoNames data can also be reached from their free webservice which can return results in XML and JSON.

GeoNames

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