A Virginia Gazetteer
Find digital maps, aerial photography and other geographic information for over 51,000 Virginia features.
Click on a search type to begin
|Feature||Feature name, feature type, county/city, quadrangle name||Data for a specific geographic feature|
|County||County or independent city name||Data for a Virginia county or independent city|
|Quadrangle||USGS quadrangle name||Data for a USGS quadrangle|
Can I make maps with the Virginia Gazetteer?
At this point, the Virginia Gazetteer is primarily text-based and intended to function as a searchable catalog of features and spatial data holdings.
Simple locator maps for features are provided to help users locate a feature, once found. Aerial photography found through the Gazetteer is viewable.
What is "spatial data?"
"Spatial data" refers to data files that are usable within a Geographic Information System such as ArcGIS, MapInfo, or Intergraph.
Many of the data files found in the Virginia Gazetteer were developed specifically for use within such systems and may not be useable without this software.
What are "quadrangles?"
"Quadrangles" refer to the rectangular grid system used by the US Geological Survey to survey the United States in their topographic map series at 1:24000 scale. Many of the types of spatial data available through the Virginia Gazetteer are based on this system.
A map of Virginia is available showing the relationship between Virginia counties and quadrangle [PDF]. On this map, use the PDF "Zoom in Tool" until the county and quadrangle names are visible.
What are "independent cities?"
In Virginia, "independent cities" such as Richmond, Alexandria, and Charlottesville have the same legal status as counties such as Henrico or Albemarle. In the gazetteer, a record for a city or county will be displayed as: Albemarle, Page, Orange for counties and Norton (city), Richmond (city), Charlottesville (city) for cities.
A gazetteer contains three types of information about places: name, type of feature, and location.
The Virginia Gazetteer contains the official name, type, and location of over 51,000 geographic features in Virginia. It is based in large part on data from the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), maintained by the US Geological Survey as the federal repository of official geographic names in the United States. All records have been adapted directly from the GNIS without further review by the Geostat Center staff. Review the possible errors associated with the GNIS.
The Virginia Gazetteer is linked to an inventory of collections archived at the Geostat Center in the University of Virginia Library. This allows the gazetteer to function like a geographic catalog for the Geostat collections.
At present, only specific spatial data holdings for Virginia are inventoried in this database, including:
- digital topographic maps (DRGs),
- digital elevation models (DEMs),
- aerial photography (DOQQs),
- satellite imagery (SPOT)
[Access restricted to UVA only],
- land use data (NLCD).
At present, no statistical data about features are recorded in the gazetteer.