This Data Users Guide is the result of the efforts of a number of people who have contributed to the research, development, and implementation of
the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). Roger L. Payne prepared and wrote this Data Users Guide, which is designed to provide a description
of the data in each of the data elements of the four data bases of GNIS. The GNIS program, which includes the automated names system and the National Gazetteer program, is a coordinated effort under the direction of Donald J. Orth, Chief of the Branch of Geographic Names. The automated system was initially developed by Sam Stulberg and Roger L. Payne. System enhancement and software development is coordinated by Judy J. Stella, head programmer for GNIS, and special projects coordinator is Louis A. Yost IV. Coordination of the research and compilation of certain gazetteers is directed by Robin D. Worcester with research assistance and support from Jon Campbell, Linda S. Davis, and Nancy Engel.