Iowa Physical and Cultural Geographic Features

data.iowa.gov | Last Updated 28 Mar 2018

This dataset contains is a list of Iowa features contained in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The GNIS is the Federal standard for geographic nomenclature. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS for the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, a Federal inter-agency body chartered by public law to maintain uniform feature name usage throughout the Government and to promulgate standard names to the public. The GNIS is the official repository of domestic geographic names data; the official vehicle for geographic names use by all departments of the Federal Government; and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products of all types. See http://geonames.usgs.gov for additional information. The Geographic Names Information System contains information about physical and cultural geographic features of all types, current and historical, but not including roads and highways. The database assigns a unique, permanent feature identifier, the Feature ID, as a standard Federal key for accessing, integrating, or reconciling feature data from multiple data sets. The GNIS collects data from a broad program of partnerships with Federal, State, and local government agencies and other authorized contributors.

Tags: airport, arch, area, bar, bay, beach, bend, bridge, building, canal, cape, cemetery, census, channel, church, civil, cliff, crossing, dam, falls, flat, forest, gut, harbor, hospital, island, lake, levee, locale, military, mine, oilfield, park, pillar, plain, populated place, post office, range, reserve, reservoir, ridge, school, spring, stream, summit, swamp, tower, trail, tunnel, valley, woods

This dataset has the following 11 columns:

Column NameAPI Column NameData TypeDescriptionSample Values
Feature IDfeature_idnumberPermanent, unique feature record identifier as defined in INCITS 446-2008, Identifying Attributes for Named Physical and Cultural Geographic Features (Except Roads and Highways) of the United States, Its Territories, Outlying Areas, and Freely Associated Areas, and the Waters of the Same to the Limit of the Twelve-Mile Statutory Zone.
Feature Namefeature_nametextOfficial feature name as defined in INCITS 446-2008, Identifying Attributes for Named Physical and Cultural Geographic Features (Except Roads and Highways) of the United States, Its Territories, Outlying Areas, and Freely Associated Areas, and the Waters of the Same to the Limit of the Twelve-Mile Statutory Zone.
Feature Classfeature_classtextA feature class is a designation for a group of features in a broadly defined descriptive category. All features are assigned to one and only one class. They do not individually classify all kinds of cultural and natural features. Feature classes include: Airport, Arch, Area, Bar, Bay, Beach, Bend, Bridge, Building, Canal, Cape, Cemetery, Census, Channel, Church, Civil, Cliff, Crossing, Dam, Falls, Flat, Forest, Gut, Harbor, Hospital, Island, Lake, Levee, Locale, Military, Mine, Oilfield, Park, Pillar, Plain, Populated Place, Post Office, Range, Reserve, Reservoir, Ridge, School, Spring, Stream, Summit, Swamp, Tower, Trail, Tunnel, Valley, and Woods. Full definitions of each feature class is available in the metadata.
Primary Statestate_alphatextTwo letter designation for the primary US State. The primary US State is the State containing the primary point for the feature. Where Iowa is not listed as primary, it is considered a Secondary State containing the feature.
Primary County Namecounty_nametextThe primary county is the county containing the primary point for the feature.
Primary Point (Coordinates)primary_pointlocationThe official feature location is a single point (in decimal degrees) to which the official feature name is associated in order to ensure positive and unique identification and association, also referred to as the primary point. The placing of the location point is generally at or near the geographic center of the feature, but there are exceptions for certain classes of features. For example, the official feature location of flowing bodies of water (streams, rivers, creeks, etc.) or trending linear features (valleys, gulchs, gullys, hollows, etc.) is at the mouth.
Elevation (Meters)elev_in_mnumberThe elevation in meters above sea level of the feature at the primary point (positive number) or depth of a feature at the lowest point below sea level (negative number). Elevation figures are not official and do not represent precisely measured or surveyed values. The data are extracted from the National Elevation Dataset (http://ned.usgs.gov/) for the primary coordinates and may differ from elevations cited in other sources. The differences will be most evident for features such as summits where precision is of more concern and where the local relief (rate of change of elevation) may be more prominent. However, the elevation figures are within tolerances for the data for most points and sufficiently accurate for purposes of general information.
Elevation (Feet)elev_in_ftnumberThe elevation in feet above sea level of the feature at the primary point (positive number) or depth of a feature at the lowest point below sea level (negative number). Elevation figures are not official and do not represent precisely measured or surveyed values. The data are extracted from the National Elevation Dataset (http://ned.usgs.gov/) for the primary coordinates and may differ from elevations cited in other sources. The differences will be most evident for features such as summits where precision is of more concern and where the local relief (rate of change of elevation) may be more prominent. However, the elevation figures are within tolerances for the data for most points and sufficiently accurate for purposes of general information.
USGS Map Namemap_nametextThe name of the standard USGS 7.5x7.5 minute quadrangle map(s) containing the representation of the feature.
Date Createddate_createdcalendar_dateThe date the feature was initially committed to the GNIS database.
Date Editeddate_editedcalendar_dateThe date any attribute of an existing feature was last edited.