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I have a growing database of routes. Each route is represented by a polyline with say 200 points on average.

What I'm trying to achieve is automatic tagging of these routes with names of places and areas which each route passes through.

I already have a local installation of stripped-down GeoNames.org database which works well for tagging with administrative areas.

What I am looking for now is the ability to tag them also with geographic features they pass through - like valleys, hills, mountains, forests, natural parks etc.

The problem here is that such features can have quite big surface, so I can't really search for them using their proximity to each route point - I need to know their bounding boxes, which GeoNames does not provide.

My question then is - does anyone know of an API or, even better, downloadable database which:

  • allows to reverse geocode lat/lon to geographic features,
  • covers whole world (or at least Europe),
  • is free to use for non-commercial purposes,
  • isn't very restrictive in terms of quota limits?

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