Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) – Tombstone Tuesdays September 8, 2020

For some reason, I thought I had posted about Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) – before now. In doing a search on my posts, I am not seeing any posts about it. It is part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) It is a good system for checking for cemetery locations. Go to, choose State, wait for it to load, then choose County. Next choose Feature Class and scroll down to Cemetery. You can also for other features

I decided this was a good Tombstone Tuesdays choice. You may find some cemeteries that aren’t listed on other cemetery sites. In some cases, you may find a cemetery that doesn’t have GPS coordinates on another cemetery site but has latitude and longitude on GNIS. It’s not too complicated to turn latitude/longitude into GPS coordinates.  If you choose a particular cemetery or other item, it includes the GPS near the bottom.

Using GNIS, I was able to get GPS coordinates for a Find-A-Grave cemetery that had the wrong GPS coordinates. Google Maps had it five miles to the east, but there was no cemetery when I zoomed in on Google Maps. Using Street View, I was able to start where Google Maps said it was and navigate towards where Find-A-Grave said it was. It was about 2/5 of the way west of where Google Maps said it was. 

It doesn’t include every known cemetery, but only the ones that have been reported to the agency. In a quick check, it’s missing almost half the cemeteries listed on Find-A-Grave for a specific county.

Previous Tombstone Tuesdays posts:

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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