[Talk-us] GNIS Issues to be aware of (was: dubious church node)

Mike Thompson miketho16 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 3 16:43:38 UTC 2017

Here are a few other GNIS issues to be aware of:

1) Duplicates  - As someone else pointed out, the GNIS points were
digitized off of the USGS topo maps.  If a feature is actually in multiple
map sheets (such as a mountain), it may appear multiple times. I believe it
was done by state, so if a feature appears in multiple states there will be
multiple entries in the GNIS (sometimes with slightly different names).  I
have pointed out a large number of such cases to the Board on Geographic
names, but that was after the import to OSM, so you may still encounter

2) Classification - It seems that the GNIS used an automated query to
classify some of the GNIS points.  For example, a "park", particularly in
the western US, can be a broad flat relatively treeless valley. Many of
these types of parks were mis-classified in the GNIS as the recreational
type of park.  I pointed out some of these to the Board on Geographic
names, but again, that was after the import.

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