Track Milestone Here


Implement the ability to search across all the known names for a place, including various languages.

External Dependencies

We will be relying on our data sources to provide the additional names for places. WOF and OSM all have the concept of alt-names. We will need to work with data team to ensure that the alt-names provided in WOF are curated and ready for consumption.


  • Store admin hierarchy place names in the native language of the parent country for addresses, venue, and street layers
    • for example Кремль, Russia should be Кремль, Россия
  • Store place names in all available languages for WOF places (not venues)
  • Refactor query logic to perform the search in two stages:
    • 1st: search for all the admin areas separately, locating their GIDs, centroids, and all available names
    • 2nd: use the found GIDs to perform the full place query, also allowing for a broader search in nearby areas where the centroid of the most granular parent is used as a focus point
    • e.g.: a query like Lancaster, PA will first query all admin layers for PA and once that has returned the GID for Pennsylvania another query will be formed to find anything named Lancaster that also has parent.region_gid equal to the GID from the fist query
  • Search for WOF admin areas in many languages
  • Add language query parameter that will dictate which language the labels are to be displayed in
    • consider which endpoints should support this (would it make caching ineffective for autocomplete?)
    • if no lang parameter is specified, default to eng
    • for example if lang=rus, the label should be Кремль, Россия, and if it's set to lang=eng the label should be Kremlin, Russia

Note: GeoNames importers will not be updated as part of this work.


  • Ensure performance is not diminished
  • Potentially we would need to add more machines to support additional volume of data and more complex query logic


  • A full sweep will be needed
  • Additional examples of searching in different languages
  • Document new lang query parameter
  • Blog post (at least one)


  • Publish the results of benchmark / load-test execution and make scaling recommendations.
  • Update / add acceptance tests to validate that the all required functionality has been implemented successfully.
input query expected result
München Munich
Кремль, Россия Кремль, Россия
Кремль, Russia Кремль, Россия

Future Work

  • Import and search nicknames for venues in OSM, such as airport codes for example
    • for example searching for JFK should return John F Kennedy Int'l Airport
  • Import and search for WOF venues in many languages
  • Search for OSM venues in many languages
  • Import and search nicknames for venues in WOF
input query expected result
Статуя Свободы Statue of Liberty, New York
Eiffel Tower Tour Eiffel
Tour Eiffel Tour Eiffel
JFK John F Kennedy International Airport
USA United States