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How often is the Geographic Names Information System database updated?

Federal, state, local, and non-governmental data partners continuously submit new features and edit existing features in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database. Changes--potentially consisting of hundreds to thousands of records per month--are validated by the staff and made available on the GNIS website and in the Web services.

The downloadable files are revised every 6-12 months or as needed. The date of the last update is displayed on the download page. States that are currently under contract for extensive data compilation could have very large updates performed monthly or quarterly.

The GNIS Web-based data maintenance application allows authorized users to enter and edit feature data directly. Batch files of data are also accepted in most standard formats. Government agencies at all levels are encouraged to join the GNIS data maintenance program. Other organizations and individuals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Suggested corrections and additions to the data are accepted from any source for review; upon validation, they will be committed to the database. Send questions about GNIS Web services and the data maintenance program to gnis_manager@usgs.gov.

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