Login to LibApps

Geographical Sciences: Place Names

This guide contains information on selected resources for research in Geography. It includes both print and electronic resources. Many electronic resources, such as indexes and journals, are available to ASU-affiliated users only.

United States Place Names

Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) - GNIS contains entries for almost 2,000,000 geographic features in the United States. Each entry includes information about Federally recognized names for features in the United States, including the State, county, and geographic coordinates. Produced by the US Board of Geographic Names and the US Geological Survey.

US Gazetteer - The US Gazetteer is a list of United States place names that were included in the 1990 census. Since it was derived from census data, this database only contains names for populated places.

National Association of Counties   (NACo) - NACo provides a database of county information, searchable by city or state.

US States, Place Names

World Place Names

  • GEOnet World Place Names Server - GEOnet is a database of World place names developed from the country gazetteers that were published by the US Defense Mapping Agency (now the National Imagery and Mapping Agency). It contains place names for over 3.3 million features throughout the World.
  • Alexandria Digital Library Gazeteer Server - This gazetteer contains place names for the entire World, including the United States. It is based on gazetteer information from a number of sources, including GEOnet and GNIS.
  • Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names - The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) provides information on place names related to art, art history and related subjects, such as history archeology, and geography.
  • Shtetl Seeker - Shtetl Seeker is a searchable database that provides information on the location of populated places in Eastern Europe, many of which no longer exist.

Country Place Names

  • Antarctica
  • Australia
  • Belgium
    • Place Names in Belgium - An alphabetical list of cities, towns and hamlets in Belgium. This site gives the postal code and province for cities, towns and villages in Belgium.
  • Canada
    • Canadian Geographical Names / Les noms géographiques du Canada - The Canadian Geographical Names site, produced by Natural Resources Canada, provides access to a searchable database containing over 500,000 place names in Canada. Information on the origins of some Canadian place names can be found at the Geographical Names Origins site.
    • British Columbia Place Names - Search for place names in British Columbia. Provides location and topographic map sheet showing the place or feature. Also has an option to do "sounds like" searches. In some cases, the place may be displayed on a digital map.
    • Quebec - Commission de toponymie du Québec (French Only).  Includes aboriginal and municipal place names.
    • Northwest Territories Place Names - Search for place names in the Northwest Territories. Provides location and topographic map sheet showing the place or feature. A map showing the feature's location can also be displayed.
  • Place Names in Denmark - This site contains alphabetical lists of authorized place names in Denmark. Each list contains information on place names the parish and the administrative district. In Danish.
  • Place Names Database of Estonia - Since it declared its independence in 1991, Estonia has renamed a number of places. This site is a searchable database that contains current names for places in Estonia as well as variant names.
  • Finland - The National Land Survey of Finland's MapSite. Registration required.
  • France
    • Place Names Search - The searchable database of over 2,000,000 French place names from the Institut Géographique National.
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Hungary - An alphabetical list of cities in Hungary with their population.
  • Luxembourg - Gazetteer of Villages and Towns - An searchable map of place names in Luxembourgish with their French and German equivalents.
  • New Zealand Geographic Place Names Database - A database of over 40,000 place names that appear on current New Zealand topographic maps and some historical maps.
  • Project Perseus Atlas - Locate and plot sites related to the Greek world and the Mediterranean region. The atlas has drawings, digital elevation models, satellite images and three-dimensional topographic views.
  • Scandinavia - The Nordic Place Names Database, hosted by the National Land Survey of Finland, contains place names for Denmark, Faeroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Norway and Sweden. Registration required
  • Scotland- Two sites are available for Scotland. They are:
  • Sweden- Two sites are available for Sweden. They are:
  • Switzerland - SwissGeo is a database that can be used to search for a place by name or address and view the 1:50,000 topographic map showing that place.

Planetary Place Names

Subject Guide

Hours and Locations