Geographic Names Information System
Proposals to change the name of a natural feature may be submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as described below. However, there must be a compelling reason.
I think I have found an error in the Geographic Names Information System Database. How do I report it?
Please submit information indicating precisely what you believe is in error to GNIS Manager.
Does the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database contain entries for geographic features that are historical?
Yes, GNIS actively seeks names of features that no longer exist. There are more than 100,000 such entries in the database now. To search for them, type the word "(historical)" (along with other name words if desired) in the name field.
The term "historical" as used in the GNIS means specifically and only that the feature no longer exists on the landscape. It has no reference to age, size, condition, extent of habitation, type of use, or any other factor.
How accurate is the elevation data in the Geographic Names Information System Database? How was it measured?
The elevation data in GNIS are not official.Only the geographic name and locative attributes are official.
Can I add new entries to the Geographic Names Information System for manmade and administrative features, such as churches, cemeteries, schools, shopping centers, etc.?
Suggested corrections and additions to the data are accepted from any source for review, and upon validation, will be committed to the database.
The official form of the name might not correspond exactly to the words entered. However, the software is very flexible. Here are some guidelines.
The GNIS contains named communities, both incorporated and unincorporated, but these communities do not necessarily correspond to ZIP Code areas. ZIP Codes are unofficial entities developed and maintained by the U.S.
Why are some manmade and administrative features not listed in the Geographic Names Information System?
The USGS Geographic Names Project maintains an active and extensive program to add features not in the database, primarily through partnerships with Federal, State, and local agencies, and with other organizations having relevant data.
All of the coordinates (latitude and longitude) in Geographic Names Information System seem incorrect. What is the problem?
One might confuse the difference between degrees/minutes/seconds and Decimal Degrees. To convert from decimal degrees to degrees/minutes/seconds with 45.63248 as an example: