Gazetteers & Place Name Guides

Until further notice, access to the Map Library is limited to library staff only.

For access to many of our maps, aerial photographs, and other physical materials, please search for the item in Libraries search. Sign in and place a “Get It” request and you can pick up items at one of our four open buildings — Wilson, Walter, Health Sciences, and Magrath libraries — or have them delivered to your office or residence hall.

For access to non-circulating materials or for in-depth research assistance, please send an email to

Gazetteer of British Placenames
Provides the most exhaustive placename index to Great Britain, including
commonly accepted alternative spellings and Welsh and Gaelic versions

Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
Covers the United States and its territories

Geographical Names of Canada
Produced by the Geographic Names Board of Canada (GNBC)

GEOnet Names Server (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)
Per its homepage, "provides access to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names' (US BGN) database of foreign geographic feature names. The database is the official repository of foreign place-name decisions approved by the US BGN. Approximately 20,000 of the database's features are updated monthly"

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online
One of the Getty vocabulary databases produced and maintained by the Getty Vocabulary Program, the TGN is a structured vocabulary containing around 912,000 records, including 1.1 million names, place types, coordinates, and descriptive notes, focusing on places important for the study of art and architecture

Global Gazetteer
Worldwide index of cities and towns produced by Falling Rain Genomics, Inc.

Minnesota Place Names
Produced by the Minnesota Historical Society, this site "provides quick access to the stories behind the names, thousands of miniature histories that capture the lost lore of familiar places"

U.S. Board on Geographic Names
Per its homepage, "the U.S. Board on Geographic Names is a Federal body created in 1890 and established in its present form by Public Law in 1947 to maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government"

U.S. Gazetteer Files (U.S. Census Bureau)