Place names database

The place names database  maintains information on place names (geographical names or toponyms) and the corresponding geographical objects - both natural and man-made.

The working version of the place names database contains 170 thousand names, which refer to 127 thousand geographical objects (data as of March 1, 2019). The information covers the entire territory of Latvia, as well as the border area of neighboring countries.

Information on the place name and the corresponding geographical object:

  • basic information: basic name; other names of this object, if any (both official and unofficial); the type of geographical object (village, river, forest, etc.) and its condition (existing, non-existent, etc.); administrative territorial affiliation (parish, city, county); location (coordinates and possibility to view on the map);
  • additional information: news sources (maps, literature, narrators, etc.) and quotes from them; more detailed description, t. sk. legends, stories, etc.

Public version of the place name database (8th edition) includes data only on the territory of the Republic of Latvia. It offers users free of charge: basic information together with a reduced amount of additional information about the place name and the corresponding geographical feature, data search and selection by various features - location, feature type, part of the name, name status (whether or not official).

The obtained results can be viewed, downloaded or printed, thus obtaining various data sets, for example, lakes in a parish, all objects whose name contains "mountain" or whose name status is official.

Clicking on "View" gives you more information about the object of interest, as well as the opportunity to view it on maps of different scales ("Location on the map" button). Clicking the "View in Map Browser" button opens the Map Browser of the Latvian Geospatial Information Agency.

The place names database application provides explanations of concepts, as well as links to laws and regulations in the field of place names, place name databases of other countries, as well as teaching and methodological materials.

Database data can be useful:

  • proper use of place names;
  • to find various place names or geographical objects;
  • for the approval of official place names;
  • teaching and research work;
  • preparation and verification of maps and plans;
  • for the preparation of various data sets and reference materials, etc.

In 2018, the informative booklet "Place Names Database" was prepared.

The place name database is also available as a WMS service (more here Kartes/WMS services).