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Maps   Tags: geography, gis, international, maps  

The Map Collection at Perkins Library and sources for online maps and related information.
Last Updated: Mar 10, 2014 URL: http://guides.library.duke.edu/maps Print Guide RSS Updates

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Introduction

Gazetteers will help you locate a place by giving you various attributes such as latitude/longitude coordinates, name of map quadrangle, and other locational or descriptive information.

Remember that indexes in atlases can also serve as gazetteers.

 

United States

Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
Containing officially approved names from the US Board of Geographic Names (BGN), this is the most comprehensive US gazetteer. In general, it contains features that would be on the US Geological Survey 7½ minute (1:24,000 scale) topographic maps, both populated places and other cultural and natural geographic features.

GeoNames
Over 8 million placenames. Uses the GEOnet database for international locations, the GNIS database of US locations, and other sources. Integrates with Google Maps and other internet utilities. Allows download of large amounts of placename data for use, for instance, in GIS software.

The National Gazetteer of the United States of America: United States Concise (US Geological Survey, 1990)
Single-volume book at Map Collection Reference I 19.16:1200-US

The National Gazetteer of the United States of America: [State] (US Geological Survey)
Map Collection Reference I 19.16:1200-[ST]
As above, but a set of more detailed gazetteers for individual states. Only a handful of states were ever published. We also have computer printouts of geographic names for unpublished states, shelved at the right end of the Map Collection Reference bookshelves.

The North Carolina Gazetteer  (e-book, 1985) by William S. Powell (Chapel Hill: UNC Press)
Paper: Perkins/Bostock Reference F252 .P6 2010
Other locations/editions listed in catalog.

TIGERweb
Service from the US Census Bureau allowing searching and locating of US placenames.  Gazetteer data can be downloaded from the TIGER U.S. Gazetteer pages.

Place Name Web Sites
From the Arizona State University Library.  U.S.A., world as a whole, and individual country online gazetteers.

 

Worldwide

Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary
Around 54,000 descriptive entries.

The Collins World Atlas Gazetteer
Around 90,000 entries. Just points to location on a map, indicating latitude/longitude coordinates

GEONET Name Server (GNS)
A comprehensive worldwide gazetteer based on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) database. The level of detail varies, but entries usually contain features found on 1:250,000 to 1:1 million scale maps, both populated places and other cultural and natural geographic features (millions of names).  It does not include geographic names in the United States.

GeoNames
Over 8 million placenames. Uses the GEOnet database for international locations, the GNIS database of US locations, and other sources. Integrates with Google Maps and other internet utilities. Allows download of large amounts of placename data for use, for instance, in GIS software.

Global Gazetteer
Nearly 3 million of the world's cities and towns, sorted by country and linked to a map for each town. Countries are listed alphabetically by internet suffix, so search the page (<CTRL-F>) if you can't find what you need.  Shows latitude and longitude down to the degree level (no minutes or seconds).  One of the few sources to include elevation, in meters and feet. Also, indexes non-Roman forms of the place names.

Thesaurus of Geographic Names
The Getty Research Insitute sponsors a database of place names worldwide.  With 900,000 entries, it is not nearly as extensive as the GEONET Name Server (above), but some records contain short informational blurbs about a place's historical, economic, and cultural significance.

Place Name Web Sites
From the Arizona State University Library.  U.S.A., world as a whole, and individual country online gazetteers.

 

Non-US Countries

Australian Geographic Place Names
Online search of the Gazetteer of Australia.

Canadian Geographical Names (Français)
Accesses Canadian geographical names found on 1:250,000 topographic maps.

Great Britain Ordnance Survey Place Name Gazetteer
Search database of 250,000 British place names, leading to a location map showing all-numeric coordinates in the British National Grid Reference System and a listing of all the maps sold by the Ordnance Survey that include that place.  A paper gazetteer covering the Landranger map series (1:50,000) is available in Map Collection Reference or in the Perkins/Bostock Reference department at DA640 .O736 1989.

Place Name Web Sites
From the Arizona State University Library.  U.S.A., world as a whole, and individual country online gazetteers.

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