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Geographical Web Service for Hierarchical Browsing

This web service ( enables to select subtrees from the TGN vocabulary, for indexing and search purposes in the context of distributed content management systems. With this service, a user can ask for a concept by typing in a string which will be matched with one of the concept's associated labels. It is possible to limit the subtree found to a given depth and a number of displayed concepts.

The service can potentially be applied to every monohierarchically structured vocabulary. It has however been developped primarily for the Thesaurus for Geographic Names (, which provides with a link from a child concept to its parent one.

TGN features a hierarchical vocabulary of around 1.1 million names, and coordinates and other information for around 892,000 geographic places, as examplified here:

ID      1000080
Path    /Top of the TGN hierarchy/World/Europe/Italia
Place Types     primary political unit | independent sovereign nation | republic | nation | dictatorship | kingdom | inhabited region
Parent  1000003
Description     Inhabited since 50,000 BCE; settled by Indo-Europeans 1850 BCE, Etruscans 1600 BCE, and Greeks 800 BCE; united by Romans 270 BCE; independent states rose after fall of Holy Roman Empire, notably Naples, Milan, Florence, Venice and papacy; reunited in the 19th century; official language is Italian, though significant minorities speak German, French, and Slovene.
Coordinates     12.8333E 42.8333N
Elevation       0