U.S. Geographic Names Information System Populated Places represents an automated inventory of the proper names and locations of physical and cultural geographic features located throughout the United States and its Territories.
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), of which U.S. Geographic Names Information System Populated Places is a part, promotes geographic feature name standardization and serves as the Federal Government's repository of information regarding feature name spellings and applications for features in United States and its Territories. The names listed in the inventory can be published on Federal maps, charts, and in other documents. The feature locative information has been used in emergency preparedness, marketing, site-selection and analysis, genealogical and historical research, and transportation routing applications.
Largest scale when displaying the data: 1:100,000.
publication date: 19810501, 2004, 200501; ground condition: 200411
The data are provided by multiple, third party data vendors under license to ESRI for inclusion on ESRI Data & Maps for use with ESRI® software. Each data vendor has its own data licensing policies and may grant varying redistribution rights to end users. Please consult the redistribution rights below for this data set provided on ESRI Data & Maps. As used herein, Geodata shall mean any digital data set consisting of geographic data coordinates and associated attributes. The redistribution rights for this data set: Public domain data from U.S. government is freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. The terms and conditions below apply to all the data sets provided on ESRI Data & Maps. Proprietary Rights and Copyright: Licensee acknowledges that the Data and Related Materials contain proprietary and confidential property of ESRI and its licensor(s). 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United States Board on Geographic Names
The shapefile is converted to SDC (Smart Data Compression) format using either ESRI SDC Data Development Kit Professional 2 (DDKP2) or tools in ArcGIS. The SDC data set is then loaded into ArcSDE® to verify and validate the geometry.
After processing, the data set is checked for drawing display and number of records and file sizes compared with source materials.
The geospatial part of this data set was calculated from latitude/longitude coordinates accurate to within +/- 5 seconds of latitude or longitude. The horizontal positional accuracy is equal to or better than 500 feet.
Attribute and geospatial data
Attribute and geospatial data
GNIS was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) to promote the standardization of feature names. GNIS is being compiled in phases. The first phase is complete for the entire United States, and entailed the collection of names from Federal sources including large-scale USGS topographic maps, Office of Coast Survey charts, U.S. Forest Service maps, and digital datasets distributed by the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These data are compared to the records of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. The second phase of data collection is complete or in progress for about 80% of the United States, and captures names from State, locally, and other published current and historical maps, charts, and texts. GNIS Maintenance program - Federal and state maintenance cooperators submit new and corrected data in conjunction with their mapping and geographical information system data maintenance programs. Data is submitted using web data entry and edit forms and batch file processes. National Map partnerships - As part of The USGS National Map program, the Geographic Names Office enters into partnerships with state names authorities and state and local GIS agencies to integrate vertically name, location, and attribute data in the GNIS with state and local datasets. These partnerships utilize GIS and web technology to automate and simplify data maintenance, ensure data consistency, integrity, and accuracy, and meet the goals of the Board on Geographic Names for national names standardization. In both processes, a random sample of 10% of the entries in the system were visually verified against the compilation source data (large-scale USGS topographic maps) to ensure an attribute accuracy rate of at least 95%. Locative references (geographic coordinates, topographic map, and county) were crosschecked for logical consistency.
The following steps were performed by ESRI: Downloaded each tabular file from http://geonames.usgs.gov/stategaz/index.html, generated ArcInfo® coverages from the latitude/longitude coordinate attributes, and assembled all into a nationwide coverage. Reselected the feature type from the TYPE attribute. Converted to North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). Removed features with incorrect coordinates. Adjusted the width of the NAME attribute. Reformatted the attributes and removed unnecessary ones. Added the LABEL_FLAG attribute and calculated its values. Created ArcGIS® layer file (.lyr), projection file (.prj), and spatial indices.
Internal feature number.
The name of the geographic feature.
United States Geological Survey, United States Board on Geographic Names
The combined state/territory and county FIPS code (five-digit number). The combined code uniquely identifies the county in which the geographic feature is located.
Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology
The indicator that the geographic feature has a corresponding area in U.S. Large Area Landmarks.
The geographic feature does not have a corresponding area in U.S. Large Area Landmarks.
The geographic feature has a corresponding area in U.S. Large Area Landmarks.
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In the United States, contact the ESRI Telebusiness staff at 800-447-9778 for more information about our software and data. Outside the United States, please direct all inquiries to your local ESRI International Distributor. This information can be found at http://gis.esri.com/intldist/contactint.cfm.
See use constraints.
The SDC file contains the geospatial and attribute data. The SDI file contains the spatial index. The PRJ file contains the coordinate system information (optional). The XML file (*.sdc.xml) contains the metadata describing the data set (optional).
ESRI Data & Maps is available only as part of ESRI® software.
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