Place database

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Place database used by Gramps

If you want to use your own database, you don't care about the license to use, but what about when you re-use an existing database?

See Copyrights.

To create our place database

Why not create our own place database?

Users sharing place information. It is possible on Gramps 3.0.1 and later:

  1. Go on place View
  2. Edit menu -> Column editor
  3. Check Place Name, Zip, City, County, Country, Latitude, Longitude, Church Parish columns
  4. go to menu Family Trees ->Export View...

To add a license to use and to share it

Copyright (c)  YEAR  YOUR NAME.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts.  A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".
Heckert GNU white.png

To use existing place structure and data into Gramps

To re-use your data stored in a flat database

  • Data to gramps XML

Having a place database (txt, csv, xml, bd etc ...) which could be used on open-sources projects (license)

Either to import data into gnumeric (save data on XML gnumeric), see XML to gramps XML, or:

  1. to assign one format per column (font size="8" for the first column, font size="10" for the second, etc ...)
  2. to order by name
  3. to create a new column (1 on the first line, 2 on the second, 3 on the third) then to use automatic filing from the first line to the last one with data.
  4. to save on XHTML
  5. On this new XHTML file, to work with "replace" function into your text editor (or grep, sed, awk)
  6. Generate a simple place table into gramps (with or without handle references)
 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <!DOCTYPE database PUBLIC "-//Gramps//DTD Gramps XML 1.7.1//EN"
 <database xmlns="">
    <placeobj id="P0001" type="City">
      <ptitle>A, B</ptitle>
      <pname value="A, B"/>
      <coord long="-81.2636738" lat="28.9005446"/>
      <placeref hlink="_c96587264d513cb56c90efab74d"/> # if need
    <placeobj handle="_c96587264d513cb56c90efab74d" id="P0099" type="country"> # if need ref.
      <pname value="B"/>
  • XML to gramps XML

With XML flat database, to generate a new XML by using XSLT.

ex: if you don't use autofiling for number, (<xsl:number value="postion()" format="1."/>) generates ordered id for your place object.

  • Gramps csv

Since Gramps 4.2.1, CSV import/export provides a better place handling.


Geonames licensed their data under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, provided "as is" without warranty or any representation of accuracy, timeliness or completeness.

You are free:
 * to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
 * to Remix — to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
 * Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor 
(but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution iconCreative Commons Share Alike icon

Database management

  • Addon:Place completion tool brings the places in your Gramps database in accordance with the Gramps requirements: batch add country, county; look-up latitude-longitude; set description (title); ...


  • Extract Place Data from a Place Title... was formerly a built-in Family Tree Processing tool. It was rebuilt as a third-party plugin after the 4.2.8 version Gramps. It attempts to extract city and state/province from a place title.
Parsing support is limited

ONLY for United States of America, Canada, France, Sweden.