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Geographic Names Information System


The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the USGS in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), contains information about almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States. The Federally recognized name of each feature described in the data base is identified, and references are made to a feature's location by State, county, and geographic coordinates. The GNIS is our Nation's official repository of domestic geographic names information. Information about foreign geographic feature names can be obtained from the GEOnet Names Server, developed and maintained by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

The Antarctica Geographic Names Data Base contains geographic names in Antarctica which are approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names for use by the Federal Government.


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Query the GNIS Online Data Bases

United States and Territories


Obtain the following information about a selected geographic feature:

  • Federally recognized feature name,
  • Feature type,
  • Elevation (where available),
  • Estimated 1994 population of incorporated cities and towns,
  • State(s) and county(s) in which the feature is located,
  • Latitude and longitude of the feature location,
  • List of USGS 7.5-minute x 7.5-minute topographic maps on which the feature is shown, and
  • Names other than the federally recognized name by which the feature may now or have been known.

For any feature selected, links to sites offering map viewers are provided to enable graphical display of the feature's location. A link to a site offering information about the watershed area in which the feature is located is also provided.

Antarctica


Obtain the following information about a selected geographic feature:

  • Federally recognized feature name,
  • Feature type,
  • Elevation (where available),
  • Latitude and longitude of the feature location,
  • Description of the feature including name origin and history, and
  • Names other than the federally recognized name by which the feature may now or have been known.

For any feature selected, a link to a site offering a map viewer is provided to enable graphical display of the feature's location.

GNIS Datasets via Anonymous FTP

Download GNIS standard digital datasets direct from USGS.

Ordering Information for The GNIS Digital Gazetteer of the U.S.

The entire data base is available on a compact disk entitled The Digital Gazetteer of the U.S.

The March 1998 version of the GNIS CD-ROM is now available. An Installation Guide and Trouble Shooting Guide are also available.

Related Geographic Names Products Available from USGS

National Imagery and Mapping Agency produced gazetteers of foreign lands can be purchased from the USGS.


Other Federal Geographic Information Servers

Other Geographic Information Servers


Other Information

For more information on the design, development, and data content of GNIS refer to The GNIS Data Users Guide or contact

GNIS Manager
U.S. Geological Survey
523 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

Phone: (703) 648-4544
E-mail: gnis_manager@usgs.gov

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