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What is the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)?

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), contains information about the official names for places, features, and areas in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the territories and outlying areas of the United States, including Antarctica. It is the geographic names component of The National Map. The BGN maintains working relationships with State names authorities to cooperate in achieving the standardization of geographic names.

The GNIS contains records on more than 2 million geographic names in the United States—from populated places, schools, reservoirs, and parks to streams, valleys, springs, ridges, and every feature type except roads and highways. 

GNIS provides a fast search through its Query Form for the United States and Its Territories.

A search on GNIS will provide topographic map indexing, longitude and latitude, and feature information, plus direct access to topographic maps and aerial photography via the National Map and other sources.

Tags: Maps, Coordinates, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)