Using the Gazetteer
The Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online contains over 170,000 articles or entries on all types of places throughout the world; both physical places and political entities. Most articles have details on where the place is located, its dimensions and borders, and information on economic activities, demographics, history, and former or alternate names and different spellings and pronunciations.
In the Gazetteer Online, however, we have provided tools for reorganizing that information and extracting it for different uses.
For general geographic reference and study, for school reports, or for research, the article texts are a great starting place.
Genealogists will be particularly interested in the discovery of alternate names and spellings useful in research and tracking down past family documentation.
More advanced researchers will be able to make use of new tools to extract data, both current and historical, from the Gazetteer database and reformat and reuse that data in other applications.