Geographic Names Information System: National Geographic Names Data Base, Populated Places in the United States (Phase II) (ICPSR 9515)

Published: Feb 17, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of the Interior. United States Geological Survey

Version V1

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is an automated data system developed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to standardize and disseminate information on geographic names. GNIS provides primary information for all known places, features, and areas in the United States identified by proper name. The data file described here is a standard report file written from the National Geographic Names Data Base that lists all populated place records in GNIS for the United States. The entries are sorted by state and then listed alphabetically by feature name. Information provided includes the official placename, the feature type, the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) code referencing the state, the principal county in which the place is located, the geographic coordinates (in degrees, minutes, and seconds) that locate the approximate original center of the place, the year of any pertinent United States Board on Geographic Names activity regarding the placename or its application, and a reference to the 1:24,000-scale USGS topographic map on which the feature is portrayed. The elevation in feet is given if available, as is the 1980 Census population figure.

United States Department of the Interior. United States Geological Survey. Geographic Names Information System:  National Geographic Names Data Base, Populated Places in the United States (Phase II). Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-17.

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This collection may be used in conjunction with digitized sectional basemaps available in 1:2,000,000-scale. See UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY DIGITAL CARTOGRAPHIC DATA STANDARDS: DIGITAL LINE GRAPHS FROM 1:2,000,000-SCALE MAPS (ICPSR 8379). There are two phases of data collection. Generally, all named features on the most current largest scale USGS topographic maps were included for Phase I compilation, available from the ICPSR: GEOGRAPHIC NAMES INFORMATION SYSTEM: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NAMES DATA BASE, POPULATED PLACES IN THE UNITED STATES (ICPSR 8369). Some categories of named features, however, were omitted from Phase I because more complete lists of these categories were available from other sources. Thereafter, available information from the categories not compiled during Phase I, as well as geographic names from other sources, are added during Phase II. An additional related collection is GEOGRAPHIC NAMES INFORMATION SYSTEM: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NAMES DATABASE, MICHIGAN GEOGRAPHIC NAMES (ICPSR 8374).

Records or entries for most named geographic features on all United States Geological Survey 7.5-minute topographic map series, with the exception of road and highway names.

coordinate data




  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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