What is the full name of Egypt in Arabic or English? How is the capital of Ukraine written in Ukrainian or used in Spanish? What is the capital of Burkina Faso and how is it pronounced? What are the coordinates of Recife in Brazil?
To provide answers to such questions, a multilingual, multiscriptual geo-referenced geographical names database is being developed by the UN Statistics Division and the UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN), with input from the UN Terminology and Reference Section, the UN Cartographic Section and the UN Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG).
Through the web, database users can access short and full names of countries (193 UN member states), their capitals, and the major cities (population over 100,000) for many countries. Authoritative city endonyms are provided mainly by national name authorities and sound files are being added to assist users with pronunciation.
At this stage, the database contains over 2,700 country names, some 5,700 names for 3,143 cities, with more than 870 audio files. As a useful reference tool for geo-information management, the UNGEGN World Geographical Names Database will continue to be developed and improved, and updated on an ongoing basis.