Has anyone tried to import GNIS data, since it is public domain as a w

I could be interested if there are replies.

Masses & masses of GNIS data were imported in the early days of OSM: it looks like there are over 1 million GNIS features current in the database: https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/search?q=gnis

Unfortunately GNIS has a number of known problems:

  • Inaccurate location (sometimes 100s of miles from correct one)
  • Many historical locations (notably schools & post offices)
  • Duplicated entries

In general there is no point in importing additional GNIS data. Instead what GNIS data that exists could do with being cleaned up.

In general where data have been edited in OSM I would expect the locational accuracy to be better than GNIS. However, I doubt that many people have made feedback to GNIS itself.

At one time there was talk of directly feeding the OSM edits of GNIS objects to GNIS, but it was noted that copying the OSM objects to a public domain database would violate OSM’s license.

Thanks for the reply.

GNIS intentionally uses historical data which I knew would be an issue but they don’t maintain their data. I also understand why licensing would be an issue.