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Geonames - open database of geographical names

"The GeoNames geographical database is available for download free of charge under a creative commons attribution license. It contains over eight million geographical names and consists of 6.5 million unique features whereof 2.2 million populated places and 1.8 million alternate names. All features are categorized into one out of nine feature classes and further subcategorized into one out of 645 feature codes. The data is accessible free of charge through a number of webservices and a daily database export. GeoNames is already serving up to over 11 million web service requests per day. "

GIS and Mapping Toolbox at Social Source Commons

Social Source Commons is a website where nonprofits can share information about the software they use. This particular collection of GIS and Mapping Tools is maintained by Eric Leland.

Mapstraction - javascript mapping library

From the website:

"Mapstraction is a library that provides a common API for various javascript mapping APIs to enable switching from one to another as smoothly as possible. Developers can code their applications once, and then easily switch mapping provider based on project needs, terms and conditions, and new functionality.

Users can switch maps as desired based on personal taste and quality of maps in their local area. Various tools built on top of Mapstraction allow users to easily integrate maps into their own sites, and configure them with different controls, styles, and provider. "


OpenLayers is a javascript program for displaying maps within a web page, without requiring an external map server.  It's very customizable, very popular, and best of all - it's open source! is a popular free geocoding service for addresses in the United States.  The site uses TIGER line data along with geocoding code written in perl to provide geocoding services for thousands of websites.  The site's creators also provide paid geo-related services.

MapServer (UMN)

MapServer is one of, if not THE granddaddy of the open source GIS tools.  Developed for NASA by the University of Minnesota in the 90s, MapServer was adopted by the OSGeo and development continues today.  MapServer is cross-platform and MIT-licensed, so it's used by tons of organizations and projects. 

MapServer serves maps - it can generate and serve maps based on tons of input, scripted associations, custom development, base layers, output technologies, etc.  It is not a tool for geospatial queries and analysis, however.