Geographical names

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Geographical names
Names of areas, regions, localities, cities, suburbs, towns or settlements, or any geographical or topographical feature of public or historical interest.
A geographical name is a proper noun applied to a natural, man-made or cultural feature on Earth.

A feature can have different names in one or several languages and the names may be provided, together with appropriate information on the feature, in different products like maps and gazetteers as well as respective services.

An endonym is a name for a geographical feature in an official or well-established language occurring in that area where the feature is situated. An exonym is a name used in a specific language for a geographical feature situated outside the area where that language is widely spoken, and differing in form from the respective endonym(s) in the area where the geographical feature is situated. (UNGEGN, 2007).

In some cases names can be applied as attributes of appropriately modeled spatial objects. However, often the definition, classification, geometry and other attributes of these objects do not correspond with the respective named features. Besides, commonly named features such as elevations, islands, natural shoreline features and stretches of water bodies are seldom modeled as objects in spatial data sets.

A geographical name serves as a means to identify a location. Gazetteers and gazetteer services associate the names with corresponding features – or locations – by means of co-ordinates, feature types and/or other necessary information. A multi-lingual gazetteer (service) shall most probably be established as a part of INSPIRE.
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