US Board on Geographic Names

U.S. Board on Geographic Names


During the western expansion of the 19th century, there was a need to have standardized geographic names. President Benjamin Harrison established the Board on Geographic Names by Executive Order 28 on September 4, 1890 in response to this need. By Executive Order 492 of August 10, 1906, the name was changed to United States Geographic Board which existed until April 17, 1934 when another Executive Order (6680) abolished the Board and transferred its functions to the Department of Interior. The present Board on Geographic Names was established under an act of Congress, approved July 25, 1947.


A summary of the history of the Board and its functions can be found at


The process by which the U.S. Board creates official names involves working with each state's Geographic Names Board (Wyoming Board of Geographic Names) A description of the policies and procedures that the U.S. Board follows can be found at


Official geographic names for locations throughout the United States are made publicly available through the Geographic Names Information System