The Linked Data version of the USGS GNIS.

A description of the source dataset from the Board on Geographic Names:

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the Federal and national standard for geographic nomenclature. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS in support of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the official repository of domestic geographic names data, the official vehicle for geographic names use by all departments of the Federal Government, and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.

The GNIS contains information about physical and cultural geographic features of all types in the United States, associated areas, and Antarctica, current and historical, but not including roads and highways. The database holds the Federally recognized name of each feature and defines the feature location by state, county, USGS topographic map, and geographic coordinates. Other attributes include names or spellings other than the official name, feature designations, feature classification, historical and descriptive information, and for some categories the geometric boundaries.

SPARQL Endpoint

Please note the above link is the SPARQL endpoint URL. When dereferencing it in a browser, you will be redirected to a YASGUI page prefilled with a default query.

Query Examples

Demonstrates how to use the geof:distance function to compute distance in meters between two features and filter the results by distance. The geometries used in this example are points since they are representing the GNIS feature.
Shows how the precomputed nhd:area property can be used to select or filter features (limited to NHD water bodies in the study area for this dataset).
Applies the geof:sfTouches GeoSPARQL topology function to select streams that empty into or start from Lake Tahoe.

Interface Examples

Under the 'Incoming Triples' section, we can see that this is the nhd:gnisFeature of an NHD feature, which has a multipolygon geometry node.
The NHD feature (which contains the multipolygon) that is associated with the Lake Tahoe GNIS feature.

Dereference Geometry

Clicking on the above link will dereference the resource in your browser and redirect you to the interface page describing that feature's RDF. To fetch the geometry data of this resource, send a request to the URL using the appropriate content-negotiation headers, for example to get GeoJSON:
$ curl -L -H 'Accept:application/vnd.geo+json'

Other acceptable content-types include: application/gml+xml for GML, text/plain for Well-Known Text, and application/octet-stream for Well-Known Binary.


Regalia, B., Janowicz, K. , and McKenzie, G. (2019): Computing and Querying Strict, Approximate, and Metrically-Refined Topological Relations in Linked Geographic Data. Transactions in GIS.

Regalia, B., Janowicz, K. , and Mai, G. (2018): GNIS-LD: Serving and Visualizing the Geographic Names Information System Gazetteer As Linked Data. 15th ESWC Conference. 3-7 June, Heraklion, Crete.


159 mb -- all RDF and geometry data of GNIS, including owl:sameAs relations to DBpedia and
GNIS/USGS Ontology including predicate vocabulary and place type hierarchies.
Includes VoID description, Ontology, data dump, and SPARQL endpoint service description.

Source code

Bundles the entire pipeline into a Docker Compose file and a helper bash script. Its components are listed out below.
Converts GNIS and other USGS datasets (such as NHD) into RDF.
Loads triples directly into KiWi's PostgreSQL tables in parallel.
The 584 branch of Apache Marmotta supports GeoSPARQL.
This website which includes dereferencing logic, redirection, and SPARQL query proxying.
blake at