Geographic Names Information System - 10 of 25

Geographic Names Information System FAQs - 25 Found

How can I name an unnamed natural feature?

Proposals to name an unnamed natural feature may be submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as described below. The Board is responsible by law for standardizing geographic names throughout the Federal Government, and promulgates policies governing issues such as commemorative naming, derogatory names, and names in wilderness areas. Generally the most important policy is local use and acceptance.

Please note that no natural feature (and certain manmade features) may be named for a living person. A potential honoree must have been deceased for at least five years, and must have had either a direct and long-term association with the feature, or must have made notable civic contributions.

Upon receipt of a proposal, all interested parties will be asked to comment. The Board makes decisions only after receiving recommendations from the local government, county government, the State Names Authority (in 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 2 Territories), and appropriate land management agencies. Only name proposals for natural features will be accepted (see this FAQ) for information on administrative feature names—churches, cemeteries, schools, parks, shopping centers, etc).

A new name proposal may be submitted using the Domestic Geographic Names form (PDF version) mailed to U.S. Board on Geographic Names, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 523, Reston, VA 20192-0523. Alternatively, the online version of the form may be used. Please read Principles, Policies, and Procedures

Tags: Maps, Topographic, Education, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)