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Domestic Names - Search Domestic Names or Download Domestic Names

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The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the Federal and national standard for geographic nomenclature. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS in support of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the official repository of domestic geographic names data, the official vehicle for geographic names use by all departments of the Federal Government, and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.

The GNIS contains information about physical and cultural geographic features of all types in the United States, associated areas, and Antarctica, current and historical, but not including roads and highways. The database holds the Federally recognized name of each feature and defines the feature location by state, county, USGS topographic map, and geographic coordinates. Other attributes include names or spellings other than the official name, feature designations, feature classification, historical and descriptive information, and for some categories the geometric boundaries.

The database assigns a unique, permanent feature identifier, the Feature ID, as the only standard Federal key for accessing, integrating, or reconciling feature data from multiple data sets. The GNIS collects data from a broad program of partnerships with Federal, State, and local government agencies and other authorized contributors, and provides data to all levels of government, to the public, and to numerous applications through a web query site, web map and feature services, file download services, and customized files upon request.

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The GNIS Feature ID, Official Feature Name, and Official Feature Location are American National Standards Institute standards as specified in ANSI INCITS 446-2008 (Identifying Attributes for Named Physical and Cultural Geographic Features (Except Roads and Highways) of the United States, Its Territories, Outlying Areas, and Freely Associated Areas, and the Waters of the Same to the Limit of the Twelve-Mile Statutory Zone). The standard is available at the ANSI Web Store.

New Policy Regarding the Maintenance of Administrative Feature Names in the GNIS

Effective October 1, 2014:
As a result of reprioritized budgets and resources, the decision has been made to suspend the maintenance of feature categories classified in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) as administrative (i.e., cultural or manmade).

However, a select number of administrative features will continue to be maintained by other USGS programs supporting The National Map. These features will be updated in GNIS on a periodic revision cycle. If you are interested in participating in the USGS National Map Corps program, which “encourages citizens to collect structures data by adding new features, removing obsolete points, and correcting existing data for The National Map database,” please visit the following web site: http://navigator.er.usgs.gov. To identify the administrative features to be maintained through The National Map Corps program, click Structures List, located on the left-hand side of the web page.

If you have further questions, please visit The National Map home page at: http://nationalmap.gov. Inquiries may be submitted to The National Map via the link at the bottom of the page.

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URL: http://geonames.usgs.gov/domestic/index.html
Page Contact Information: GNIS Manager
Page Last Modified: Monday, 29-Sep-2014 05:54:38 MDT