Opened 6 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

#1773 closed improve feature (fixed)

Country names

Reported by: beatnickgr Owned by: shevek
Priority: minor Milestone: 2.0
Component: BW Geo Keywords:
Cc: beatnickgr

Description (last modified by sitatara)

Many of the country names are wrong, missing, or obsolete, according to and

I'm attaching an xls with all countries.

2 letter codes are the ones that we have on BW

3 letter codes are ISO 3166 A3

Country names are the ones of ISO 3166 A3

I got the continents from here

Anybody who is gonna work on this, can also reach me on the IRC if something is unclear.

Related ticket: #1921, #1943

Attachments (1)

country names.xlsx (26.5 KB) - added by beatnickgr 6 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (22)

Changed 6 years ago by beatnickgr

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by planetcruiser

hi beatnickgr,

thanks for the puzzle work! :) but technically we can't just replace our country list by a new one. our list is based on and there are cross-references between cities, regions and so on everywhere.

there was a decision in the past about using geonames for everything, because it is the most complete and independent free database out there. i don't know if members had a say in it, but that's the current situation. and technically this makes most sense.

if we are not up to date with some countries, we should look into upgrading to the latest state of the geonames database. please open a ticket for each country that needs changes.

in the case of kosovo i remember that we recently added it on request of a member from there. see #1601 for details (add comments about kosovo there please, not here). and i doubt that future kosovar members will be happy to sign up under serbia.

we need to find a solution for these kind of edge cases. deletion can't be the one. ;) so far the solution was to follow geonames. at the moment i don't see strong reasons to change this. other people might have a different opinion.

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by beatnickgr

Ok planetcruiser i think you are right about kosovo, this might make kosovars angry. Maybe if we have people requesting it, we add Abkhaz, South Osset, Transnistria, etc who also have passports but do not exist as countries.

I saw many errors in the names, like FYROM that bothered me first, but then i noticed South Sudan missing, Viet Nam spelled Vietnam, etc.

So can we just change Macedonia to FYROM, which is the official (ISO, UN) name? Macedonia is a lot bigger than FYROM, and the big majority of Macedonians are in Greece. More info here, with the map: and you can clic on "Macedonia naming dispute".

some sources are not trustworthy, like

-google calling "macedonia" instead of "FYROM", and showing fyrom flags in front of the hellenic parliament in athens

-wikipedia, anybody can write what they like, and the opinion of the most fanatic will persist (he has more courage to edit and put lies) wikipedia is not correct because they show "republic of macedonia" which is not the official name. they also write that the twin towers collapsed because of the airplanes, and controlled demolishion is just a conspiracy theory...

-geonames, which i discovered while working on this ticket, where i'm unable to edit country names that are wrong, macedonia for instance, because somebody else locked it.

I strongly recommend that we use trustworthy sources, and if it's opensource better crosscheck with some official pages. If i knew how to put the correct names into the BW database i would have already done it, i did already half job...

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by beatnickgr

some greeks are already complaining about macedonia, saying that we don't answer when he messaged "contact us"

i told him not to worry, it will be done after the new map.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by jsfan

As discussed on IRC, I think Vietnam is correct as the English name. Only when spelt in Vietnamese it is Việt Nam but even Vietnamese authorities spell it Vietnam when writing in English.

As for South Sudan (جنوب السودان), this should definitely be added.

No opinion on FYROM.

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by jsfan

South Sudan was in geonames_cache but not in geonames_countries. I have now added it there using

INSERT INTO geonames_countries
('SS','South Sudan','AF','en');

Now only the flag is missing.

P.S.: Never knew that English is their only official language. They all speak Arabic...

Last edited 6 years ago by jsfan (previous) (diff)

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by jsfan

I have now also corrected Sudan's record in the geonames_countries table using


comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by beatnickgr

Remaining name problems:

-Macedonia to be renamed FYROM

-Serbia and Montenegro to be deleted

-Netherlands Antilles to be deleted, and the resulting countries of this split to be added.

I'm willing to do all this manually, if somebody who knows howto edit the database shows me.

Last edited 6 years ago by beatnickgr (previous) (diff)

comment:8 Changed 6 years ago by beatnickgr

  • Priority changed from major to critical
  • Type changed from bug to improve feature

This is becoming urgent, the name "Macedonia" is making many people unhappy in Greece.

comment:9 Changed 6 years ago by jsfan

  • Priority changed from critical to minor

Major and higher prio should be reserved for things that affect everyone or a large majority of BeWelcome members. This is clearly not the case here. Please leave this as a minor issue.

Last edited 6 years ago by jsfan (previous) (diff)

comment:10 Changed 6 years ago by beatnickgr

  • Cc beatnickgr added
  • Owner set to planetcruiser
  • Priority changed from minor to major
  • Status changed from new to assigned

@Meinhard, the suggestion "FYROM (Macedonia)" that we were talking about yesterday on IRC, is ok with Athens community. I'm assining the tt to you, can you please do it when you have time :)

@jsfan, I'm setting it back to major, with this quote from IRC:

"[01:27] <lantti> Major for something really annoying and visible, but which doesn't prevent from using the site

[01:27] <lantti> Minor for something that most people won't even notice"

comment:11 Changed 6 years ago by jsfan

  • Priority changed from major to minor

Please do not change the priority unless you are the developer who owns the ticket or release manager.

This problem should be fixed as part of a geo code refactoring which reduces the dependencies to just one API.

comment:12 Changed 6 years ago by planetcruiser

  • Owner changed from planetcruiser to shevek

sounds more like something shevek is into with his geonames patches

comment:13 Changed 6 years ago by sitatara

Last edited 6 years ago by sitatara (previous) (diff)

comment:14 Changed 6 years ago by sitatara

  • Description modified (diff)

comment:15 Changed 6 years ago by sitatara

  • Description modified (diff)

comment:16 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

Get countrynames from geonames DB instead of a local extract.

comment:17 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Milestone changed from unassigned to 1.9

comment:18 Changed 6 years ago by shevek

  • Milestone changed from 1.9 to 1.10

Postponed to 1.10.

comment:19 Changed 6 years ago by sitatara

  • Status changed from assigned to to_alpha

comment:20 Changed 6 years ago by sitatara

  • Status changed from to_alpha to testing

comment:21 Changed 6 years ago by sitatara

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from testing to closed

I checked the entry for FYROM: The name in Greek is now as preferred (Π.Γ.Δ. Μακεδονίας) while in other languages it remains Macedonia (as preferred as well). So that's fine.

"Serbia and Montenegro" an the "Netherlands Antilles" have been removed and replaced by the correct country names.

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