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A Federal body created in 1890 and established in its present form by Public Law in 1947 to maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government.
It serves the Federal Government and the public as a central authority to which name problems, name inquiries, name changes, and new name proposals can be directed.
From The National Geo-spatial Intelligence Agency
The GEOnet Names Server (GNS) is the official repository of standard spellings of all foreign geographic names, sanctioned by the United States Board on Geographic Names (US BGN). The database also contains variant spellings (cross-references), which are useful for finding purposes, as well as non-Roman script spellings of many of these names. All the geographic features in the database contain information about location, administrative division, and quality. The database can be used for a variety of purposes, including establishing official spellings of foreign place names, cartography, GIS, GEOINT, and finding places.