Welcome to the GNS

Last Database Update 9/13/19

Geographic Names Server

Next Database Update 10/13/19
Current GNS Count:   Features and   Names
GNS is current to GENC Standard Ed   Update  

Launch the Geographic Names Search Application to view and download GeoNames. Geographic Names Search Application
Looking for U.S. or Antarctic names?
Please visit the USGS site for Domestic (U.S.) names Domestic names
Please visit the USGS site for Antarctic names Antarctic 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.

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. NGA is not responsible for third party uses of GNS feature coordinates.