geographical coordinates

Paul L.Th. Beuk beuk at BIO.UVA.NL
Thu Apr 25 08:17:25 CDT 1996

Oliver Coleman asked (23.iv.1996):
>Is there an online database or a CD-ROM database for geographical
>coordinates to locations (cities, rivers, mountains)?

I recently found the GEOnet Names Server (GNS) of the (US) Defence Mapping
Agency (DMA). You can find the page to log in at:

The DMA home page can be found at:

You will find the GNS under "Products".

At present you can you "guest" both as username and as password. After
recent contact with the DMA I learned that the password system will be
dropped (as from about the first of May) and that the whole system will be
available without any problem.

The GNS has provided useful coordinates with localities for me. Consulting
the (printed) country gazetteers of the DMA you are restricted to looking
for localities in one country at the time and all localities are in
alphabetical order. Using the GNS you can search for strings of characters
in names (useful if names on labels are partly illegible or if spelling of
names has been changed) and in multiple countries at the same time. It
allows for defining a geographical range to search in and you can search
for all kinds of features (natural or man-made).

Hope this helps,

Paul Beuk

Paul L.Th. Beuk                          -
Zoological Museum                        -
Department of Entomology                 -   Phone:  + 31 20 5256527
Plantage Middenlaan 64                   -   Fax:    + 31 20 5256528
NL-1018 DH Amsterdam                     -   E-mail: beuk at
Netherlands                              -

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