Geographic Names Information System
The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the U.S.
Federal, State, local, and non-governmental data partners submit new features and edit existing features continuously in the GNIS database.
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.
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.
Several categories with different meanings and requirements fall under the jurisdiction of the United States and are contained in the GNIS data.
There are 3,141 counties and county equivalents in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. They are categorized as follows:
What is the most frequently occurring community (city, town, village, etc.) name in the United States?
There are no official definitions of city, town, village, hamlet, neighborhood, etc.
I need to know the official names and definitions (extents) of regions. For example, what is "the Midwest," "the South," etc.?
No official designations exist for regions at any level of government. The U.S.
GNIS data is available from a number of sources and services.
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