Geography is my oldest hobby, starting around 6 years old I was studying geographic atlases and already learned all the countries and capitals. Between 1998 and 2005 I done few works in Word / Excel based on World atlas books or digital encyclopedias. Here are few of them:
World cities population
I compiled this Word file starting from 2003, initially sourcing data from Encarta Encyclopedia 2002 that I got from a friend. It was the ONLY recent geography encyclopedia I had, all others being world atlas books from my parents childhood (1970s). I did not had connection to internet until 2005 to get other sources of data.
Over next years I improved the Word file using Encarta 2006 and 2009, completing all countries and included about 3800 cities over 100,000+ and additional 3000 cities over 20,000+ from selected countries. Since 2016 I offer also an Excel version beside the Word one.
Administrative divisions (states, regions, provinces, etc) are included for 30 most major countries, second-level administrative divisions are included only for Italy at this moment, but I am able to add them also for United Kingdom, France, Spain and United States if you want.
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City database history
2003-2005 – I compiled list of cities of Europe, former USSR countries, Middle East and Africa. Using Encarta 2002, which have a limited amount of cities shown on map so I was planning to include ALL cities shown on map, meaning cities over 20.000 people, but for biggest countries of Europe would have been too many so I have included only cities over 100.000 people.
2005 – my family installed internet connection. I discovered Wikipedia and no longer saw a purpose of making my own world cities database, the internet provided already up-to-date population numbers and updating my table constantly is a waste of effort. I left geography and migrated to other hobbies such as architecture, without finishing the list of World Cities as intended (to include all cities over 20,000 people from EVERY country).
2006-2007 – I included few more countries: China, Japan, Mexico, etc, using Encarta 2006, this one having a lot more cities shown on map, would take a lifetime to include all, so I decided to include only cities over 100,000+ people. Then I let the city database abandoned.
2015 – given by the success of one of my other hobbies, Car Database, which turned into a business by selling Excel databases to businesses and web developers, I started questioning whenever the World Cities hobby, if converted to Excel, may be useful for web developers for CSV and MySQL databases. I published for the first time the incomplete city database on my website, one-country SAMPLE, inviting people to contact me if they wants the Word file for free, or Excel conversion as paid service.
Over next months I completed remaining countries from Asia, North and South America, including cities over 100,000 people, using Encarta 2009 (last Encarta). I created 2 Word files, one for all countries including cities over 100,000 (60 pages) and one for 20 biggest countries, including cities by province over 20,000 or 100,000 depending by case (70 pages).
2016 August – first person contact me to ask for city database. He wanted list of cities in Excel, I offered him to convert the Word to Excel but he was not patient and asked me to give what I currently have (the Word file). However, I started converting it to Excel to be ready for sale when next customer is coming. I created 2 Word files, both containing all countries, LITE one containing cities over 100,000 and BIG one contain cities over 20,000 by province, plus the Excel file similar with Word FULL one, and put them for sale so people can buy directly (instead of contacting me get complete database). Also expanded the page to get more traffic from Google.
The city database currently contains 298 cities over 1 million, 316 cities over 500,000, ~3000 cities over 100,000 and additional ~3000 cities over 20,000 in selected countries. It is NOT FINISHED and will never be 100% complete, but may be sufficient for your needs, if not, I can do additional work if required, such as adding cities between 20,000 and 100,000 people from countries where they are not yet added, or do changes in data structure to make it more suitable for your project. Contact me and tell me your requirements!
Note: city classification is done based on the icon shown in Encarta Encyclopedia 2009, and it do not always reflect the actual population indicated in city article. For example there are cities with icon of 1,000,000+ but having population around 900,000, as well as cities with icon of 500,000+ but having population over 1 million. Cities under 100,000 do not even have article to indicate exact population. This was Encarta Encyclopedia, the only resource of information available for me before connecting to internet.
City database per country
Romania city population .XLS – I made originally in 1999 in Word sourcing data from books then remade in 2006 in Excel format sourcing data from Wikipedia pages of each city (hours of work!). It does contains all 320 cities of Romania with their population at every census from 1912 to 2011 (next census probably in 2020) except when they did not had city status at the census year. Why Romania? Because here I was born.
United States city population .XLS – including 304 cities with over 100.000 inhabitants. Source of data: Wikipedia, copy-pasted in Excel and enhanced visually. Contains population at 2010 census, 2015 estimate, as well as area, density and GIS coordinates, latitude and longitude.
If you want for other countries, please ask!
Note: list of cities from certain countries can be also found on government census pages, for example http://censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/Admin_Units/admin.html – List of Towns in India – 5161 towns. If you can’t find a ready-available list of cities, contact me and I will see what I can compile from Wikipedia.
I think that I can also make a worldwide database of cities, sorted by country and administrative divisions, preferably without population because require too much effort and each country have different census year. But before starting this megalithic work I need to know who would need such database. Please tell how do you intend to use city data and what info / columns the database should contain!
World countries database
World Countries Database .XLS – I compiled this Excel file in 2004 based on Encarta Encyclopedia 2002.
Contains country area (sq km), population, density, growth rate, and projected population for 2025 and 2050.
If you want up-to-date data, I can create a new database sourcing data from The World Factbook. Country facts are in continuous change, so the database need to be made at the time you need it rather than made in advance then going outdated before having a sale. Contact me if you are interested, tell how much data do you need per each country (more data = more time needed to collect it = bigger price).
Other geography stuff
In 1998-2003 I also wrote lists of natural features, seas, rivers, etc, and astronomy-related stuff…. all in Word. I started using Excel more than Word in 2003. Today I consider them useless because such info exist for FREE on Wikipedia and is not necessary to make my own databases.
Solar system database
A thing that I re-made in 2014: Solar System Database .XLS, compiled with data sourced from NASA website.
Why I made this? Because I love Excel… and because I wanted to compare facts of all planets and satellites, while the NASA website allow only 1 vs 1 comparison.
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