Credits relies on several organizations for much of the geographic data in its database. We would like to acknowledge these data sources.

U.S. Geological Survey

Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The USGS Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is responsible for determining the official name and location of all places and geological features within the US. The BGN has created the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) to record and publish these standard names. The GNIS web site ( supports both searching and downloading information from the database.

Histopolis incorporates information from GNIS for the names, locations and relationships of states, counties, townships, cities and cemeteries. The Histopolis database has been updated with the GNIS data released 2 October 2009. The "Links" tab of most Histopolis pages for a specific place includes a link to the USGS web page containing additional information on that place.

U.S. Census Bureau

Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system (TIGER)

The Geography Division of the U.S. Census Bureau maintains Cartographic Boundary Files containing spatial mapping data including everything from county and city boundaries to every street and highway in the U.S. This feature mapping database forms the core of many widely used mapping systems.

Histopolis uses cartographic data from the Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system (TIGER, a registered trademark of the U.S. Census Bureau) as the primary source of its boundary information on states, counties, townships, cities and cemeteries. Additionally, feature attributes from TIGER are used to supplement the GNIS data for specific places.

The Histopolis place borders are based on TIGER/Line 2009 released in October 2009. The Geography Division website is

Bureau of Land Management

Land Survey Information Systems (LSIS)

The Land Survey Information System is the official government web site for the distribution of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) for the United States. LSIS is a partnership of the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

Histopolis uses the LSIS boundary information to display over 86,000 survey townships in the 30 states (primarily midwestern and western) where PLSS is used. A Survey Township is normally a six mile by six mile square containing 36 sections (each approximately one mile square). The PLSS survey system is the foundation for legal land descriptions in the states where it is used.

The GeoCommunicator website describes the survey system and allows PLSS data to be downloaded. collects and distributes geographical data for all countries of the world. The original Histopolis database was primarily based on data from GeoNames and contains information on all of the countries in the world, although only the US and Puerto Rico are currently used on the web site.

The GeoNames data has been adapted for use on the Histopolis web site and has been updated and enhanced with data from GNIS and other sources. The GeoNames web site is

User Contributions

Histopolis benefits from the contributions of information to the site by its users for the benefit of other genealogists and historians. Many thanks to those that have take the time to contribute.

If you discover information on Histopolis that is inaccurate or incomplete, please send a message to the webmaster with your feedback. Your comments and feedback are much appreciated.