A Virginia Gazetteer
Errors in Virginia Gazetteer Data
Where did the errors come from?
Most of the errors that will be encountered while using the Virginia Gazetteer website are inherited from the source data. The Geographic Names Information System data that was used had a total of about 51,000 records, of this about 152 had irregularities that would generate errors in your search. Some errors were deemed acceptable and left in the dataset, others were not and were removed.
What types of errors are there?
There are 3 main types of errors inherent to the GNIS source data.
- Missing Information Many records in the table have data missing from one or more fields. This may or may not affect your search.
- Quadrangles that are not valid Virginia quadrangles 25 Quadrangles were identified that do not fall within Virginia or are not valid but are included in the Gazetteer.
- Incorrect Information At this time it is not known how much of the information included in the Gazetteer is incorrect. Errors may include but are not limited to mismatches between features and county/quadrangle.
How will the errors affect me?
Errors that involve missing information will affect you in different ways depending on what you intend to use the Gazetteer for.
For data searches if the quadrangle name was missing or unknown then your data search your feature search will succeed but a data search will return county based data only. These records often represented historical features and often had rather incomplete records. To view a list of the 127 records that were missing quadrangle names click here -
There are 25 features that quadrangles that were not valid virginia quadrangles. These records all have a valid Virginia county listed and will return the appropriate county based data. To view the 25 records with non-Virginia quadrangles click -
It is not know what impact the other data errors may have. Data searches may return incorrect results if the correct information is not in the database. Please report data error to Geostat.
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.