Geography::Countries - 2-letter, 3-letter, and numerical codes for countries.
use Geography::Countries; $country = country 'DE'; # 'Germany' @list = country 666; # ('PM', 'SPM', 666, # 'Saint Pierre and Miquelon', 1)
This module maps country names, and their 2-letter, 3-letter and numerical codes, as defined by the ISO-3166 maintenance agency , and defined by the UNSD.
This subroutine is exported by default. It takes a 2-letter, 3-letter or numerical code, or a country name as argument. In scalar context, it will return the country name, in list context, it will return a list consisting of the 2-letter code, the 3-letter code, the numerical code, the country name, and a flag, which is explained below. Note that not all countries have all 3 codes; if a code is unknown, the undefined value is returned.
There are 3 categories of countries. The largest category are the current countries. Then there is a small set of countries that no longer exist. The final set consists of areas consisting of multiple countries, like Africa. No 2-letter or 3-letter codes are available for the second two sets. (ISO 3166-3  defines 4 letter codes for the set of countries that no longer exist, but the author of this module was unable to get her hands on that standard.) By default,
country only returns countries from the first set, but this can be changed by giving
country an optional second argument.
The module optionally exports the constants
CNT_F_ANY. These constants can also be important all at once by using the tag
CNT_F_ANY is just the binary or of the three other flags. The second argument of
country should be the binary or of a subset of the flags
CNT_F_REGION - if no, or a false, second argument is given,
CNT_F_REGULAR is assumed. If
CNT_F_REGULAR is set, regular (current) countries will be returned; if
CNT_F_OLD is set, old, no longer existing, countries will be returned, while
CNT_F_REGION is used in case a region (not necessarely) a country might be returned. If
country is used in list context, the fifth returned element is one of
CNT_F_REGION, indicating whether the result is a regular country, an old country, or a region.
In list context,
country returns a 5 element list. To avoid having to remember which element is in which index, the constants
CNT_I_FLAG can be imported. Those constants contain the indices of the 2-letter code, the 3-letter code, the numerical code, the country, and the flag explained above, respectively. All index constants can be imported by using the
All known 2-letter codes, 3-letter codes, numerical codes and country names can be returned by the routines
countries. None of these methods is exported by default; all need to be imported if one wants to use them. The tag
:LISTS imports them all. In scalar context, the number of known codes or countries is returned.
The 2-letter codes come from the ISO 3166-1:1997 standard . ISO 3166 bases its list of country names on the list of names published by the United Nations. This list is published by the Statistical Division of the United Nations . The UNSD uses 3-letter codes, and numerical codes . The information about old countries  and regions  also comes from the United Nations.
In a few cases, there was a conflict between the way how the United Nations spelled a name, and how ISO 3166 spells it. In most cases, is was word order (for instance whether The republic of should preceed the name, or come after the name. A few cases had minor spelling variations. In all such cases, the method in which the UN spelled the name was choosen; ISO 3166 claims to take the names from the UN, so we consider the UN authoritative.
ISO Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA) http://www.din.de/gremien/nas/nabd/iso3166ma/index.html.
Country codes, http://www.din.de/gremien/nas/nabd/iso3166ma/codlstp1.html, 7 September 1999.
ISO 3166-3, Code for formerly used country names. http://www.din.de/gremien/nas/nabd/iso3166ma/info_pt3.html.
United Nations, Statistics Division. http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/statdiv.htm.
Country or area codes in alphabetical order. http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/methods/m49alpha.htm, 26 August 1999.
Codes added or changed. http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/methods/m49chang.htm, 26 August 1999.
Geographical regions. http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/methods/m49regin.htm, 26 August 1999.
Looking up information using country names is far from perfect. Except for case and the amount of white space, the exact name as it appears on the list has to be given. USA will not return anything, but United States will.
The current sources of this module are found on github, git://github.com/Abigail/geography--countries.git.
Copyright (C) 1999, 2009 by Abigail
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