Welcome to the GNS
Last Database Update mm/dd/yy
Geographic Names Server
Next Database Update mm/dd/yy
Current GNS Count:
GNS is current to GENC Standard Ed
Search the GNS
Use the Geographic Names Search Application to query the GNS database. Users can search, discover, view and download geographic names from around the world. Search options allow for selections by name, country, administrative divisions, feature/name characteristics, and spatial filtering.
Looking for pre-positioned country or feature classification files? Please visit the GNS Data page.
GNS Downloadable Files
Looking for U.S. or Antarctic names?
Please visit the USGS site for Domestic (U.S.) names
About the GNS
Putting a Name to a Place
The Geographic Names Server (GNS) is the official repository of standard spellings of all foreign geographic names, sanctioned by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). In addition to the current approved names of features, users may find variant and historical spellings, along with non-Roman script spellings. Each record contained within provides information on the feature's location, administrative division, and designation (e.g., populated place, stream, mountain). The GNS can be used for finding places, GIS data, cartography, and GEOINT products.
The GNS's feature coordinates are approximate and intended for finding purposes.
The GNS has been in service since 1994 and is updated daily. The GNS database contains over 8 million features associated with over 13 million names. The data is stored and encoded in Unicode UTF-8, and all search and output functions present and generate the feature names data using the same UTF-8 encoding. The data served by the GNS is in a geographic coordinate system based on the WGS84 datum and ellipsoid.
GNS Source Citation
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 Resources link at www.nga.mil. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency name, initials, and seal are protected by 10 United States Code § Section 425.
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