Geographic Names Information System

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The logo of the United States Geological Survey USGS logo green.svg
The logo of the United States Geological Survey

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is a database that contains name and locative information about more than two million physical and cultural features located throughout the United States of America and its territories. It is a type of gazetteer. GNIS was developed by the United States Geological Survey in cooperation with the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) to promote the standardization of feature names.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe, which is 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Gazetteer geographical dictionary or directory used in conjunction with a map or atlas

A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or directory used in conjunction with a map or atlas. It typically contains information concerning the geographical makeup, social statistics and physical features of a country, region, or continent. Content of a gazetteer can include a subject's location, dimensions of peaks and waterways, population, gross domestic product and literacy rate. This information is generally divided into topics with entries listed in alphabetical order.

United States Geological Survey Scientific agency of the United States government

The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility.

Contents

The database is part of a system that includes topographic map names and bibliographic references. The names of books and historic maps that confirm the feature or place name are cited. Variant names, alternatives to official federal names for a feature, are also recorded. Each feature receives a permanent, unique feature record identifier, sometimes called the GNIS identifier. [1] The database never removes an entry, "except in cases of obvious duplication." [2]

Name changes

The GNIS accepts proposals for new or changed names for U.S. geographical features. The general public can make proposals at the GNIS web site and can review the justifications and supporters of the proposals.

Other authorities

See also

The Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) is a national committee with a secretariat in Natural Resources Canada, part of the Government of Canada, which authorizes the names used on official federal government maps of Canada created since 1897. The board consists of 27 members, one from each of the provinces and territories, and others from departments of the Government of Canada. The board also is involved with names of areas in the Antarctic through the Antarctic Treaty.

The GEOnet Names Server (GNS) provides access to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names's (BGN) database of geographic feature names and locations for locations outside the United States. The database is the official repository of foreign place-name decisions approved by the US BGN. Approximately 20,000 of the database's features are updated monthly. The database never removes an entry, "except in cases of obvious duplication".

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Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are publicly announced standards developed by the United States federal government for use in computer systems by non-military government agencies and government contractors.

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References

  1. "US Census County Based TIGER/Line® 2009 Data Dictionary: Entity, Joins, Attributes, and Domains". Archived from the original on 27 June 2014.
  2. Cartographic Users Advisory Council (CUAC) (April 26–27, 2007). 2007 Agency Presentation Minutes. Reston, VA: US Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014.

Further reading

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.