I am looking for a database of place names which would be non-Chinese place names listing their transliteration into Chinese. When I view Google Maps on my iPhone with the phone language set to Chinese, it provides a Chinese name for every small town and city. I anticipate this data must be avaliable somewhere potentially through a free data source or API for map developers.

I don't know a lot about GPS data and the data which feeds map labeling like this, but I did find this site for GNIS data. I've tried searching many terms including "GNIS data" and "Chinese" but I am always finding only Chinese names of Chinese places. Hoping to find something which is basically these files but in Chinese.

Does anyone have an idea where I could find this? Any help is appreciated!

1 Answer 1


the national academy for educational research, of taiwan 🇹🇼 maintained a file “ 外國地名譯名壓縮檔”, the direct link is:


it’s a zip file containing several excel files, each row has the original location name in english, name in chinese, latitude & longitude.

indeed, the download area have files of most disciplines, of terms in chinese & foreign languages:


the only caveat is, the page is in traditional chinese only 😸

  • Thanks so much! I was aware of this website but had totally missed that file. Much appreciated!
    – swerveken
    Apr 10, 2021 at 12:28
  • @swerveken, you’re welcome, have fun to play with these files 😽 though i can’t prove, i suspected google map data is from it 🙀 Apr 10, 2021 at 12:40

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