Georgia Archives

University System of Georgia

Geographic Names

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is a Federal body created in 1890 to establish and maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government. The Board develops policies and procedures governing the use of both domestic and foreign geographic names and approves new names or name changes for use on official maps and documents.

In fulfilling its responsibilities the BGN relies on advice from a Names Authority in each state. The Georgia Archives is the Names Authority for the state of Georgia. Individuals or organizations wishing to propose new names or name changes for geographic features (rivers, mountains, etc.) may find information about the BGN at Anyone proposing a name for a geographic feature should review the sections called, Principles, Policies, and Procedures: Domestic Geographic Names. The USBGN strictly adheres to these rules.