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With the help of this community I understood how to find country codes and query geoNames data based on that.

What I am stuck on now is understanding how to break things down by state where needed.

For example, take Canada. There are a few big Provinces like Ontario, Alberta.

I just happen to sort of know that. But how can I get to know such information about other countries like Mexico or Russia, etc.

Thanks, Alex

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3 Answers

It depends what do you define as a "code". An abbreviation?

The ISO breaks down the geopolitical world into only country codes. Beyond that, there are no international standards for a country's regions (e.g., State, Province, Territory, Region, District, etc.). Update: The ISO also defines principle subdivisions of countries with ISO 3166-2.

The US Federal Gov't has a Federal Information Processing Standard, which defines country codes and region codes. However, I've never heard Ontario being referred to as CA08, so I'm not convinced this would be helpful. Plus it appears there are some missing holes, like "Note: Tasman Region was not assigned a code for unknown reasons."

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As a side note, the Wikipedia article about the Tasman Region mentions that the Tasman and Nelson regions are often grouped together. –  Jaime Soto May 31 '11 at 15:35
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For Canada and all details including Provinces ( & FIPS Code):

http://api.geonames.org/search?q=Canada&maxRows=10&lang=en&username=demo&style=full

prettified: http://www.geonames.org/CA/administrative-division-canada.html

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For Canada, you can use GeoBase : http://www.geobase.ca/. You can download a shapefile Administrative Boundary

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