Featured Dataset: Yahoo Geoplanet

Posted on 10/14/2011 by


GeoPlanetIf you haven’t got any plans yet for this weekend, I’d like to tell you about my favourite place on the planet. It’s called: woeid:12602188. Sorry, I mean: Shropshire.

If you can’t go there physically, I might have a solution for you using the Yahoo Geoplanet dataset, which:

… helps bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds by providing an open, permanent, and intelligent infrastructure for geo-referencing data on the Internet.

If we search for Shropshire, we see some important information about it. It’s bound by other places, such as this one. These places are marked as “county,”.

So, what can we do with the GeoPlanet?

The Developer Docs, list a set of potential uses:

  • As a point of linkage to build concordance with other geographic Linked Data sets
  • As a reference dataset for labels and identifiers for use with Google Refine
  • Cross dataset navigation between this dataset and the Ordnance Survey postcode data

The publisher has made it available as Linked Data, so it could be used as a back-bone for linking out to other datasets. The code supporting the data converstion from Yahoo into RDF has also been open-sourced and githubbed. Because of its simple pattern, and important core elements—the “Where on Earth” IDs, for example—and the essential spacial geometric relationships, this set could be used as an underpinning element in a project.

I will let you read more about the model of the data itself, but soule point out the URIs for the element of “Places”:

Places (planet:Place)

Each of the places in the dataset is modelled with a sub-class of planet:Place. The full list of classes is given in the following section.

The URIs for the places have been constructed using the following URI pattern:


Alongside the dataset, a handful of queries have been published, which perform specific tasks against the set.

Leading up to the query “Barn-raising”, a quick look at some geographic queries might be useful.

Let’s have a look at the one which “Finds the WOEID for a UK postcode:”

PREFIX dct: <http://purl.org/dc/terms/>
PREFIX owl: <http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#>
PREFIX geop: <http://data.kasabi.com/dataset/yahoo-geoplanet/schema/>
PREFIX admingeo: <http://statistics.data.gov.uk/def/administrative-geography/>
  ?s a geop:Zip;
    admingeo:country ?country;
    geop:woeid  ?woeid;
  ?country dct:identifier "GB".
Remember that the WOEID (Where on Earth?) is a useful element, and can be a mapping to other linked sets.

So, what else could you see being fleshed-out around this planet’s backbone?

Posted in: Datasets