Toponymic Laboratory

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Toponymy is a science that studies geographical names - place names or toponyms. The mission of the Toponymic Laboratory is to obtain, process, and maintain place name data (place names in relation to their respective geographical features) and to provide it to users within and outside the LGIA.

The Toponymic Laboratory is a structural unit of the Cartography Department of the Latvian Geospatial Information Agency.

The Toponymic Laboratory was established in 1994 by the State Land Service. After the reorganization of the State Land Service (as of March 1, 2006), cartography, incl. toponymy, functions and respective structural units were taken over by the Latvian Geospatial Information Agency (LGIA).

Functions and tasks of Toponymic Laboratory:

  • obtains, prepares and updates the data of place names necessary for the performance of geodesic and cartographic activities;
  • makes and maintains Place Names Databse;
  • prepares the draft decisions of the Agency and the necessary information for the assignment of official place names and official designations to natural sites;
  • within its competence, performs other functions of the Agency in the field of toponyms and related information specified in the "Terms of Place Names Information" and the regulatory enactments of the Republic of Latvia;
  • within its competence, co-operates and participates in the implementation of projects with institutions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union and internationally competent organizations;
  • conducts research in the field of applied toponymy and publishes the results thereof;
  • prepares the geographical names and place names dictionaries and catalogues;
  • promotes the dissemination of accurate information on Latvian place names and its inclusion in military and civilian cartographic and geodetic products and basic data;
  • within its competence, develops proposals for improvement of regulatory enactments.

Read more about the Place Names Database and Services for the preparation of place names information in LGIA Products and Services website..