Place Names Database

The Place Names Database  maintains information on place names (geographical names or toponyms) and the corresponding geographical feta - both natural and man-made.

The working version of the place names database contains 183,8 thousand names, which refer to 131,6 thousand geographical features (data as of January 2, 2023). 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 feature:

  • basic information: preferred (or basic) name; other names, if any (both official and unofficial); the type of geographical feature (village, river, forest, etc.) and its condition (existing, extinct, etc.); administrative territorial affiliation (parish, city, county); location (coordinates and possibility to view on the map);
  • additional information: data sources (maps, literature, narrators, etc.) and quotes from them; more detailed description of the name and of the feature etc.

Public version of the Place Names Database (8th edition) includes data only on the territory of the Republic of Latvia. It offers 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 criteria - 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, all features whose name contains "kalns" 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:

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

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