The Geographic Names Information System is a computer-based information system developed to meet major national needs by providing information for named entities in the United States, its territories, and outlying areas. The National Geographic Names Data Base, a component of the Geographic Names Information System, currently contains most names and associated information recorded on the 1:24,000-scale (or largest scale available) topographic maps of the U.S. Geological Survey. The work involved in this initial compilation of names shown on the topographic-map series, and the development and editing of the National Geographic Names Data Base, is referred to as Phase I. Optimal use and effectiveness of an automated names system require that the names of features
not recorded on topographic maps be added. The systematic collection of names from other sources, including maps, charts, and texts, is termed Phase II. In addition, specific types of features not compiled during Phase I are encoded and added to the data base. Other names of importance to researchers and users, such as historical and variant names, are also included. The rules and procedures for Phase II research, compilation, and encoding are contained in this publication.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
The National Geographic Names Data Base: Phase II instructions