Geographic Encyclopedia
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Important Note! If you are looking for specific information, such as telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, genealogical information, or mailing addresses, then please visit our Locating Specific Info. Page before you send e-mail.

Overview: is a unique, hypertext collection of geographic and other reference information. It is mostly based upon publicly-available United States Government databases. Right now, it includes information about nations, ISO country codes, international telephone access codes, North American telephone area codes, North American states and provinces, United States cities and counties, five-digit US Postal Service Zip Codes, and American proper names. What we have done is to combine the information from these various sources into one big database of related information that makes it easy to browse and learn. Each page contains the "facts" about a specific name, such as San Jose or Washington. All together, there are 347,000 facts about 204,000 place names and proper names.

Sources: All facts are linked indirectly to the primary source of the information. In most cases you can follow this link to get additional information about the topic. We rely upon the public domain information provided by several excellent government agencies, private organizations, and companies. Our current policy is not to pay for the information we use. Our policy is not to violate others' copyrights. The information in the PlacesNamed encyclopedia may have originated from public domain sources, but our documents are copyrighted.

Background: Before, our encyclopedia was known as Entisoft Extra. It started as a personal project. I would frequently want to know more about a specific place. I'd see a news story that mentioned Cook County, or talked about Nebraska, or I'd see an advertisement with a telephone area code, and I would want to know more about it. I found several excellent public domain databases while exploring the Internet. PlacesNamed is a hypertext collection of the information from these public domain databases.

Technical Overview: consists of three important sets of programs. The first is a series of custom import programs that load the data files into Microsoft Access database tables. The second set uses those tables to generate the sentences that appear on the pages. The last set generates the HTML pages themselves, linking together the related topics. All of these programs are written in Microsoft Access VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). We do not have the computer resources to deploy an interactive version of this application; that is the major reason that we used static pages. We also wanted our search engine to index these pages, in order to provide even more search options.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to all who wrote to point out our problems, to compliment us, and to complain. We appreciate all of your feedback, suggestions, questions, and comments!  You can contact us by writing to

Steve Schmidt
March 13, 2000

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