The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB) History

In the Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB) at Natural Resources Canada, we store names records for populated places and physical features across Canada. Of the entries, nearly 350 000 names are recognized by the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) for official Canadian use. For example, names are used on maps and charts and in texts. About 12% of these records are names of populated places and administrative areas; 60% are water features (e.g. lakes, rivers, bays) and 21% are terrain features (e.g. mountains, capes, valleys).  The remainder are constructed features, or other feature types.

The fewest names are recorded in Prince Edward Island (less than 2000) and the largest number in Quebec (over 100 000).

Since 1994, the CGNDB has been available for name queries on the Internet.  For many years, standard product files of digital toponymic data were sold to clients using them for mapping, charting, database applications, and other purposes.  Now a number of digital data products are available without cost from the GeoGratis portal.

More information about digital data products.