Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)

The National Geologic Map Database Data Portal is intended to: 1) give the user a quick browse and query of our Nation's geologic maps, in a standardized format, and 2) link the user to the source information found via the NGMDB Map Catalog and Geologic...
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,...
Federal, State, local, and non-governmental data partners submit new features and edit existing features continuously in the GNIS database. Changes, possibly consisting of hundreds to thousands of records per month, are validated by the staff and made...
A variant is any other name by which a feature is or was known. Such names can be historical or no longer used, or can be in use, but less widespread. Only one official feature name is allowed for Federal usage. There are no exceptions to this rule.  
Geographically, and as a general reference, the United States (short form of the official name, United States of America) includes all areas considered under the sovereignty of the United States, but does not include leased areas. On May 14, 1959, the U...
Several categories with different meanings and requirements fall under the jurisdiction of the United States and are contained in the GNIS data.States and DC50 States plus the Federal District known as District of ColumbiaCommonwealthsPuerto Rico (...
There are 3,141 counties and county equivalents in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. They are categorized as follows: 3,007 entities named "County"16 Boroughs in Alaska11 Census Areas in Alaska (for areas not organized into Boroughs by the...
There are no official definitions of city, town, village, hamlet, neighborhood, etc. All named entities with human habitation are classified as Populated Place, including incorporated places (20 percent of the Nation's communities), unincorporated places...
No official designations exist for regions at any level of government. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which is responsible by law for standardizing geographic name usage throughout the Federal government, is often asked for official names and...
GNIS data is available from a number of sources and services. See Data.Gov, Geographic Names Community for full metadata and instructions concerning these services (Click Geographic Names under Special Interest in left menu, then Gallery or Resources.)....