NGA GEOnet Names Server (GNS)
The geographic names in this database are provided for
the guidance of and use by the Federal Government and for the information of the
general public. The names, variants and associated data may not reflect the views
of the United States Government on the sovereignty over geographic features.
Database most recent update - January 17, 2017
Database next estimated update - January 23, 2017
Putting a Name to a Place
The GEOnet Names Server (GNS) is the official repository of standard spellings of
all foreign geographic names, sanctioned by the United States Board on Geographic
Names (US BGN). The database also contains variant spellings (cross-references),
which are useful for finding purposes, as well as non-Roman script spellings of
many of these names. All the geographic features in the database contain information
about location, administrative division, and quality. The database can be used for
a variety of purposes, including establishing official spellings of foreign place
names, cartography, GIS, GEOINT, and finding places.
This page provides access to an OGC compliant Web Map Services (WMS) interface and high level
graphical search. This page will function properly with most modern browsers.
This page provides access to a text-based interface and mechanisms for initiating
queries and generating outputs. It also provides access to lookup (domain) tables
for listing and a description of values such as primary administrative division codes
and names, geopolitical entity codes and names, feature designation (feature type)
codes and names, etc. This page will function properly with most modern browsers.
Your feedback is valued (Note: The survey is anonymous)
- GNS has been in service since 1994.
- GNS Web Map Service (WMS) was introduced in 2007.
- GNS Web Feature Service (WFS) was introduced in 2008.
- GNS Web Feature Service - Gazetteer (WFS-G) was introduced in 2011.
- GNS Scaled Web Map Service (Scaled WMS) was introduced in 2013.
- GNS REST/JSON Service was indroduced in 2016.
- GNS database contains over 6 million features.
- GNS database contains over 11 million feature names.
- GNS feature names data is stored and encoded in Unicode UTF-8 (All search and output
functions present and generate the feature names data using the same UTF-8 encoding).
- The data served by GNS is in a geographic coordinate system based on the WGS84 datum
- GNS feature coordinates are approximate and are intended for finding purposes.
- GNS database is updated weekly.
- GNS does not contain any coverage data for the United States of America or its Dependent
areas nor does it cover Antarctica. To obtain U.S. or Antarctica coverage data,
please access the United States Geological Survey
(USGS) Geographic Names Information System
(GNIS) database of names.
- There are no licensing requirements or restrictions in place for the use of the
GNS data. However, we recommend using the following citation to identify the GNS
as a source:
Toponymic information is based on the Geographic Names
Database, containing official standard names approved by the United States Board
on Geographic Names and maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
More information is available at the Products and Services link at
www.nga.mil. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency name, initials,
and seal are protected by 10 United States Code Section 425.