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I’m Dudley Storey, the author of Pro CSS3 Animation. This is my blog, where I talk about web design and development with , and . To receive more information, including news, updates, and tips, you should follow me on Twitter or add me on Google+.

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Big Data: Information Sources For Forms and Databases

tools / data

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 24 seconds

Many online forms have demands for long lists of options, most commonly states, provinces, and countries. Validating the data entered into those forms can also mean checking against reams of information: determining if an areacode is valid, for instance.

Entering any of this data by hand is a recipe for repetitive stress injury or insanity. Instead, I’d suggest these resources:

StateTable

Collated by Dave Ross: offers lists of US states, Canadian provinces and minor possessions in CSV, SQL, HTML and PHP formats.

OpenGeoCode

Offers all of the official countries of the world as an HTML <select> form code chunk, in English, French and Spanish. Lots of other information sources too.

Geonames

A free geographical database with over 8,000,000 placenames, including zipcodes, largest cities and highest mountains.

Brighter Planet

Reference data for everything imaginable: airports and airline codes, pet classifications, dishawasher use categories, and much, much more.

Factual.comFactual

Offers a great deal of information, in CSV or API format – country names, places, video games, the height, weight, and body mass index of celebrities, and beers of the world, and much more.

Zip·po·pot·amusZippopotam.us

A Free JSON-based API that pulls postal and zip codes for over 50 countries.

Geocoder.ca

Maps locations to physical coordinates (for example, given a longitude and latitude, Geocoder can provide the zip code). Currently (and rather stupidly) being sued by Canada Post over the legal ownership of postal codes.

Finally, Saša Stamenković has a list of all countries in all languages and data formats. Seperately, Kasabi was an effort to create open datasets; while the site was recently shuttered, many of the datasets are archived on S3 and the Internet Archive.

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