GEOnet Names Server

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The GEOnet Names Server (GNS), sometimes also referred to in official documentation as Geographic Names Data [1] or geonames [2] in domain and email addresses, is a service that provides access to the United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) and the US Board on Geographic Names's (BGN) database of geographic feature names and locations for locations outside the US. The database is the official repository for the US Federal Government on foreign place-name decisions approved by the BGN. Approximately 20,000 of the database's features are updated monthly.[ citation needed ] Names are not deleted from the database, "except in cases of obvious duplication". [3] The database contains search aids such as spelling variations and non-Roman script spellings in addition to its primary information about location, administrative division, and quality.


As of May 2020, the GEOnet Names Server was unavailable to users of mainstream web browsers without extra configuration, due to its HTTPS-only website's public key certificate being issued from an internal U.S. Department of Defense root CA not trusted by the main browser vendors.

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  1. "GNS Points of Contact" . Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  2. "GEOnet Names Server (GNS) Services" . Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  3. Cartographic Users Advisory Council (CUAC) (26–27 April 2007). 2007 Agency Presentation Minutes. Reston, Virginia, US: US Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.