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Geographic Names Information System

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The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, contains information about physical and cultural geographic features in the United States and associated areas, both current and historical (not including roads and highways). The database holds the Federally recognized name of each feature and defines the location of the feature by state, county, USGS topographic map, and geographic coordinates.

Other feature attributes include names or spellings other than the official name, feature designations, feature class, historical and descriptive information. The database assigns a unique feature identifier, a random number, that is a key for accessing, integrating, or reconciling GNIS data with other datasets. The GNIS is the U.S.'s official repository of domestic geographic feature names information.

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