Canadian Geographical Names Database
Geographic names help us identify places and describe historic, cultural and natural geographical features all around us
The Canadian Geographical Names Database (CGNDB) is a key Federal open data set that most geospatial users in Canada should be familiar with. It is Canada’s authoritative source for all official geographical names, and their associated attributes. It is maintained by Geographical Names Board of Canada (a group consisting of provincial, territorial and federal representatives), freely available to both government and the public, and currently contains over 350 000 authoritative records (including historic names dating back to 1897).
A subset of the database is provided through the Federal Government open website for data extraction and visualization. Available file formats include: GML, ASCII, SHP and KML.
Additional attributes, as well as information on formerly approved names are available through the Canadian Geographical Names Search Service (http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography/place-names/9170). You can search the database for official geographical names using key words, coordinates or NTS map sheets.
The geographic extent of this dataset is the Canadian landmass and water bodies. The temporal extent of the data is from 1897 to present.
How to access the Canadian Geographical Names Database
- To access the Canadian Geographical Names Database;
- To download data to use with GIS applications see https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography/download-geographical-names-data/9245
- To learn more about it then refer to http://ftp.geogratis.gc.ca/pub/nrcan_rncan/vector/geobase_cgn_toponyme/doc/GeoBase_cgn_en_Specifications.pdf
- To use Application Programming Interface (API) to search and download geographical data see https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography/application-programming-interface-api/9249
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