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Free webservice: new domain and mandatory parameter 'username'  XML
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marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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Thanks to our sponsor we could double the server capacity in recent months: http://www.geonames.org/donations.html

Unfortunately the load is even growing faster.

Let us know when you are interested in becoming a sponsor:
http://geonames.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/sponsoring-geonames/

In order to deal with the increasing number of smart phone users we have to change the way access to the free services is limited. Till now it was a simple ip based tracking system, that blocked access for the ip address after the threshold has been reached. Nearly half of the request are not made from smart phones and the restriction based on the ip does not work for those clients.

We have therefore setup a new domain for the free services: api.geonames.org
The new domain requires an application identification with a mandatory parameter 'username'. You can register a GeoNames account with username here: http://www.geonames.org/login

Please update to the new domain as soon as possible. The previous domains will continue to work for a while without username. The new domain api.geonames.org has precedence over the old domains without user identification when the servers are reaching their limits.

Best

Marc

[WWW]
Amgine



Joined: 12/01/2011 22:47:15
Messages: 5
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marc wrote:

The new domain requires an application identification with a mandatory parameter 'username'. 


What is the required format for 'username'? Is this a registered username, or useragent, or what?

Amgine
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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It is the username you have chosen for your GeoNames account: http://www.geonames.org/login

Marc

[WWW]
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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The api domain is currently hosted on a development server as the servers hosting the ws domain are overloaded. The aster dataset has not been installed on the development server.
The aster queries on the api domain are now internally rewritten to get the answer from the ws servers. Thus it will not return an answer, but may have issues with performance and load.

Best

Marc

[WWW]
seldeen



Joined: 24/01/2011 18:04:34
Messages: 2
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Hello,
Every time I try to run this query :
Code:
http://api.geonames.org/findNearbyWikipedia?lat=47&lng=9&radius=200.0&maxRows=1&lang=en&username=[myusername]


the results I get alternate between a 503 server error and this :
Code:
 <geonames>
 <status message="ERROR: canceling statement due to statement timeout" value="12"/>
 </geonames>
 


Have I done something wrong or is it a server-side problem that I can't do anything about but wait while crying and sacrificing young virgins to old pagan gods ?
Manny



Joined: 24/01/2011 18:56:00
Messages: 3
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Just to be clear - you want a username registered for the application calling the service. So whoever is using application XYZ anywhere in the world will call the services using the username of the application's author, is that right? You don't need each user of the application to have their own username?

I think it's a shame that the services have just stopped working without warning, but I understand that you've got issues to fix so I'll just wish you good luck in fixing them. At the moment I'm just seeing 503 error codes from the wikipedia functions and when I call your URLs from your docs I just get "Please add a username to each call in order for geonames to be able to identify the calling application and count the credits usage.". Did this just start last week?
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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Seldeen,

A radius of 200km is too much, the db is not able to answer this query in time. We will add a check to limit the radius to 20km for the free services.


Manny,

The services did not stop working. A new domain has been setup to cope with users making too many requests. The old domains have not yet been changed.


Marc

[WWW]
seldeen



Joined: 24/01/2011 18:04:34
Messages: 2
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Oh my bad, I thought it was better to set a large radius, I didn't think of it that way. Thanks for the help Marc.

One more thing, is there a way to download the dataset of wikipedia pages that are geotagged (well, the ones used in the web service) under one form or another ? I'm considering building my own reverse lookup table in order to not cripple the web service for other users.
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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there is a wikipeda export linked somewhere in a forum thread. It is not the newest version and contains fewer records.

Marc

[WWW]
Manny



Joined: 24/01/2011 18:56:00
Messages: 3
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marc wrote:
The services did not stop working. A new domain has been setup to cope with users making too many requests. The old domains have not yet been changed. 
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound critical, I just meant that links which used to work now don't. At the moment I'm getting 503 errors from the ws.geonames.org address. Are you saying that that's independent of the username changes?
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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Manny

Please read the first posting in this thread. You are confusing cause and effect.
It is not the consequence of the change but the reason why we have to change something. The servers are overloaded and we have to find a way to reduce the number of queries they are serving, or you become a sponsor and we can get more hardware: http://geonames.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/sponsoring-geonames/

Best

Marc

[WWW]
Manny



Joined: 24/01/2011 18:56:00
Messages: 3
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OK, thanks for the clarification. That's much clearer, I get it now.

Is the application "userid" required just so that you can track and monitor usage, or so that you can implement some kind of filtering to allow or block specific applications? Without any authentication, all applications could just put "&username=marc", couldn't they?
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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The user account identification is required to limit the credits usage according to the terms of service: http://www.geonames.org/export/#terms

Marc

[WWW]
sjs



Joined: 19/01/2009 21:58:06
Messages: 9
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I just wanted to say "thank you" for this change.
I'm using GeoNames rather seldomly, but the constant free server overload in last few weeks became a real annoyance to me. With the new username option it works like a charm again.

Are there any plans to implement some kind of individual user statistic based on the username?


Kind regards,

sjs
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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sjs wrote:
Are there any plans to implement some kind of individual user statistic based on the username? 


We have thought about it. However, it is not trivial as there are several servers and the log files would have to be merged centrally. At the moment there are so many other things that seem more important and the day unfortunately only has 24h. For the premium services statistics are available.

Marc

[WWW]
denis.arnaud


[Avatar]

Joined: 25/10/2009 17:18:18
Messages: 3
Location: Grasse, France
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marc wrote:
The new domain requires an application identification with a mandatory parameter 'username'. 


Could you update the documentation page for the Web Services, i.e. at least:
* http://www.geonames.org/export/web-services.html, where the 'username' parameter is missing from the table describing the parameters (but it appears in the examples below the table)
* http://www.geonames.org/export/geonames-search.html, where the 'username' parameter has to be added both into the table and into the examples.
* http://www.geonames.org/export/JSON-webservices.html#weatherJSON, where the 'username' parameter has to be added to the example URLs.

[WWW] [Yahoo!]
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3946
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Thanks we have now hopefully updated all pages with the example link.

We will not add the general remark to each service doc. It is described in the main doc: http://www.geonames.org/export/web-services.html

Best

Marc

[WWW]
testgeo2016



Joined: 16/02/2016 10:04:41
Messages: 1
Offline

Hi ,

I recently started the free geonames webservice.could you please clarify the below points.
1)Any restriction/ licensing in terms of how many searches can be made?
Means if we are using this free services for our application then its require any licence ? and how many request we can fire with unique user id?.

2)Will we be recording, for what locations, process went to Geonames?.
Thanks in advance .

thx
 
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