Forum: Misc. GPS Equipment Information
Topic: GNIS online
started by: jfitzpat

Posted by jfitzpat on Dec. 20 2001,2:41 pm
OK, it took all week, but I have placed all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia from the USGS Geographic Names Information System online.

I have removed all entries with unknown or bogus locations. All coordinates have been converted to WGS-84, so they should be GPS ready (note, the USGS created the data manually from printed maps, so coordinates are often off by up to 1/360th of a degree).

The search page on the < > Map Maker is still very simple, but I have also exposed the database for text searching (to save others the grief of converting and cleaning up millions of coordinates).

Basically, you provide the 'Where' clause of an SQL statement and get back a comma delimited text file. Available fields are:

fstate - two letter state code
fname - feature name
ftype - feature type
fcounty - feature county
lat - latitude
lon - longitude
ftopo - USGS quad name feature resides in

The big difference (for you SQL literate) is that you should use * instead of ' or " for marking strings.

Returned text is basically:

[record count] Records Found.\n

Each record is:


If you view with a browser, the records will seem to run together, but if you "view source" you will see that it is one line per record.

Some sample searches (%20 below is just a , you might not even need it for your browser):

< >

Or, "fstate = *CA* limit 100" would return the first 100 GNIS entries in California.

<* >

Or "fname like *%National Park%*", would return all entries with the phrase "National Park" as part of their names.

<* >

Would return all entries located in the USGS "Burbank" Quad. You can combine as well, for example, to find all entires located between 34.000,-117.1 and 34.003,-118, you would use:

< >

(lat > 34 and lat < 34.3 and lon > -118 and lon < -117.1)

Feel free to use this in your own scripts and programs. Provided that your application is NOT COMMERCIAL! A 'thanks' note in your about box would be nice, but not required. Better still would be a good submission to our adventure database.


P.S. For those who have written, I'll try to fix an outstanding bug with the Netscape plugin this weekend and get it online right after our holiday break.
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