How do I report an error in the Geographic Names Information System Database?

Please report possible errors to the Geographic Names Information System Manager at BGNEXEC@usgs.gov. The Names data experts will investigate and validate the data, enter appropriate corrections where needed, and advise you of the results.

Learn more: U.S. Board on Geographic Names: Principles, Policies, and Procedures

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Your map has road/address errors and people can't find my house

This issue is usually about maps on GPS devices, smart phone applications, or commercial online maps. The USGS does not provide road or address information for those products, almost all of which use road data from commercial sources. The USGS has no relationship with those companies. The USGS mission does not include the collection and...

I found an error on a map. How can I report it and when will you fix it?

There are different answers to this question for different products. In all cases, we must know what product you are addressing. Please read the following guidelines and email error reports to tnm_help@usgs.gov : US Topo maps (topographic maps published 2009-present) Please include the following information: The map title, state, and date (from...

Why do all of the coordinates (latitude and longitude) in the Geographic Names Information System seem incorrect?

Coordinates that seem to be incorrect in the Geographic Names Information System might just be projected on a different datum from the datum used on your map or your positioning system (GPS). Most USGS maps published approximately 1940-1995 are projected on the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD27) . Later maps are projected on the North American...

Why are there no entries for caves in the Geographic Names Information System Database?

Geographic Names Informations System (GNIS) entries for caves are in the database but cannot be retrieved on the public website. In response to the 1988 National Cave Management Resources Act, Department of the Interior Regulation 43 ( CFR Subtitle A, Part 37 ) forbids the release of information regarding the location of all caves on Federal lands...

How accurate is the elevation data in the Geographic Names Information System Database? How was it measured?

The elevation figures in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) are not official and do not represent precisely measured or surveyed values. Only the geographic name and locative attributes are official. Elevations are derived from data in The National Map . The data are interpolated from seamless raster elevation models for the given...

How can I propose a name change for a natural feature?

Proposals to change the name of a natural feature can be submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names . There must, however, be a compelling reason to change it. The Board is responsible by law for standardizing geographic names throughout the Federal Government and discourages name changes unless necessary. Further, changing a name merely to...

How can I name an unnamed natural feature?

Proposals to name an unnamed natural feature can be submitted to the Board on Geographic Names (BGN). The BGN 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. Please note that no...

How can I acquire or download Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) data?

Download Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) data using the U.S. Board on Geographic Names website . Query the database for official geographic feature names, their location attributes, variant names, and other data. Display, print, and download up to 2,000 records from a query. GNIS data can also be downloaded via The National Map...
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Date published: August 27, 2019

New names at Newberry drawn from CalVO geologist's mapping

In June 2019, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names approved twenty-five new formal geographic names at Newberry Volcano in central Oregon. The names were proposed by Julie Donnelly-Nolan, a Research Geologist with the Volcano Science Center of the USGS in Menlo Park, CA.

Date published: July 4, 2017

Mapping Yorktown

If urban legend is correct, the world turned upside down on October 19, 1781. The Patriots defeated the British at the Siege of Yorktown, paving the way for American Independence and starting an enduring trend for town names.

Date published: August 12, 2016

Highest Point East of Rockies Gets New Name

Black Elk Peak replaces Harney Peak in federal records

Date published: September 1, 2015

Old Name Officially Returns to Nation's Highest Peak

The story of America is told by the names on the land. When you hear names like Kentucky and Kennesaw, Klamath and Kodiak, your mind immediately starts to turn over all manner of associated thoughts of what you may have experienced or learned or even what you may imagine about that place.

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Photo of Advanced Research Computing (ARC) "Yeti" supercomputing cluster
November 30, 2000

Advanced Research Computing (ARC) "Yeti" supercomputing cluster

Advanced Research Computing (ARC)'s "Yeti" supercomputing cluster contains over 38,600 total cores; 23,800 GB of RAM; and 793 TB of usable storage.