NZ Topo - object class geographic_name

This page describe the geographic_name object class used to represent objects in the NZTopo topographic database.


Geographic name holds the proper noun of certain objects within the Topo databases. Geographic_name does not apply to roads, railway lines, or descriptive text - eg 'Brunner Mine' would be a Geographic_name but 'mine disused' is held in the descriptive_text feature

Topo50 description

The geographic name feature layer comprises names that are gazetted by the NZ Geographic Board, and also names from other sources. Most of the gazetted names are held in the data and shown on the printed maps, but ocassionally the limitations of scale preclude this. For authorativie information regarding gazetted geographic names see Functions within the LINZ database allow the text to be curved, spaced and placed as it is seen on the map. Be aware that, of the 57,000 names in the database, an estimated 70% have coordinates that are coincident with the real-world feature in the topographic database that it names. Of the features where there are no real-world equivalents (such as bay, point and hill range names), most coordinates remain unaltered from the original capture in the 1980s. At that time demand and resources were such that the quickest method was chosen - to capture the feature at the left lower corner of the text as printed on the 1:50,000 topographic map. Overtime, the remaining 30% of geographic names will be repositioned.

Topo250 description

A generalised subset of those shown on the Topo50 series

Representation specification

Representation specification showing geographic_name

Click to enlarge image

See also: descriptive_text

Class attributes

Attribute Value
Object class geographic_name
Entity class TEXT
Additional entity class Not applicable
Object inheritance simple_point
Entity source Proposed NZ entity
Map series Topo50 Topo250 Ant50 Topo500
LSLIFF object class 701

Object attributes

Attribute LSLIFF code
Shapefile field
Data type
Attribute description Attribute values*
name 1001
This field must be populated. Text data from July 2012 will be in UTF-8 format. If your system is not UTF-8 compliant, you will need to use the name_ascii attribute, which has had any macronated vowels removed. UTF-8 stands for Unicode Transformation Format-8. It is an octet (8-bit) lossless encoding of Unicode characters. UTF-8 encodes each Unicode character as a variable number of 1 to 4 octets, where the number of octets depends on the integer value assigned to the Unicode character. It is an efficient encoding of Unicode documents that use mostly US-ASCII characters because it represents each character in the range U+0000 through U+007F as a single octet. UTF-8 is the default encoding for XML.
name_macronated 1140
Indicates whether the entry in the name_ascii field contains a macronated vowel. Where the value is "Y" go to for a list of places or feature names within New Zealand that are gazetted and include macrons
point_description_code 1056
The named object category. See below
linz_text_size 2006
Value governing text size on LINZ printed map.
name_ascii 9000
Text data from July 2012 will be in UTF-8 format. If your system is not UTF-8 compliant, you will need to use this attribute, which has had any macronated vowels removed.
UFID 1000
A unique identifier for use on Topo50 data in the LINZ Data Service. This is not a universal ID. The intention is to manage these ID’s as persistent, however this is not guaranteed and there will be instances where what appears to be a minor change to a feature may result in a new ID being assigned.

* See explanation of attribute values for more information about how attribute values are represented.

point_description_code attributes values

Value Description
AIR AIRPORT: Landing ground for aeroplanes
BAY BAY/INLET: A salient of water into the land
BCH BEACH: Sand or gravel shore of a body of water
BDGE BRIDGE: Structure spanning an obstacle
BLDG BUILDING: Man made structure for a specific use
BNK BANK: Underwater eminence which may dry at L.W.
BSN MOUNTAIN BASIN: Bowl shaped depression in land
CAVE CAVE: Subterranean chamber
CEM CEMETERY: Place for burying the dead
CGND CAMPING GROUND: Area used for temporary shelter
CLIF CLIFF: Steep rock face
CRTR CRATER: Depression caused by volcanic activity
DAM DAM: Barrier constructed across a water course
ESTY ESTUARY: Tidal mouth of a river
FALL WATERFALL: Sudden steepening in river gradient
FARM FARM: Area been developed for farming
FLAT FLAT: Relatively level area of land
FORD FORD: Shallow unbridged river crossing
FRST FOREST: Dense growth of trees
GEO GEOTHERMAL AREA: Area of geothermal activity
GLCR GLACIER: Accumulation of slowly moving ice
GLKS GOLF LINKS: Area set out for golf
GORG GORGE/VALLEY: Linear depression in land surface
HILL HILL: A natural elevation of the Earth's surface
HIST HISTORIC: Area/structure of historic importance
HOSP HOSPITAL: Institution for treatment of the sick
HSTD HSTD: Homestead
HUT HUT: Simple rural building for shelter
ISLD ISLAND: Body of land surrounded by water
ISTH ISTHMUS: Neck of land joining two larger areas
LAKE LAKE: Body of inland water
LOC LOCALITY: Defined area of low or nil population
LTH LIGHTHOUSE: Lighted structure for navigation
MCUL MISCELLANEOUS CULTURAL FEATURE: Miscellaneous man-made named place or area
METR METR: Metropolis: Major city
MINE MINE: Excavation for the extraction of minerals
MNAT MISCELLANEOUS NATURAL FEATURE: Miscellaneous naturally occurring named feature or area
MPLA MISCELLANEOUS PLACE:Misc named place or area
NLR NLR: Native Land Reserve or Block
PA PA: A Maori locality
PARK PARK: Area set aside for recreational use
PASS PASS: Low point in a range of hills
PEN PENINSULA: Land area nearly surrounded by water
PNT POINT: Area protruding into water or floodplain
POPL POPULATED PLACE: Populated area less than a town
PPLN PIPELINE: Conduit for carriage of liquids or gas
RC RACECOURSE: Circuit on which races are run
RDGE RIDGE: Elongated elevation of land
RNGE RANGE: Aligned and connected series of hills
ROCK ROCK: Isolated rocky outcrop
RSTN RAILWAY STATION: Stopping place for trains
SBRB SUBURB: Component part of a town
SCH SCHOOL: Place of instruction
SEA SEA: Ocean or large body of saltwater
SKI SKI: Area for skiing activities
SLIP SLIP: Area of unstable hillside
SPR SPRING: Natural issue of water
STRA STRAIT: Narrow stretch of water
STRM STREAM: Natural watercourse
SWMP SWAMP: Permanently waterlogged area
TOWN TOWN: Town or city forming nucleus of region
TRCK TRACK: Foot path
TREE TREE: Tree with historical significance
TRIG TRIG: Geodetic Station
TUNL TUNNEL: Man made subterranean passage
TWAY TRAMWAY: Narrow gauge bush railway
UNIV UNIVERSITY: Institution of higher learning
USAT URBAN SATELLITE: S/c community adjacent to city
WELL WELL: Hole bored for the extraction of liquid or gas
WHF WHARF: Structure for the berthing of vessels
WILD WILDERNESS AREA: Area preserved in natural state
WRCK WRECK: Wrecked,sunken or stranded vessel
WWAY WATER WAY: Man made water course

Change log

Feature version Revised Description
11 2013-06-07 More information added to Topo50 Description
10 2012-08-28 Updated map image and aerial view; added representation specification and example feature photographs
9 2012-08-28 Added scale-specific definitions
8 2012-08-16 Name attribute in UTF-8 format; added name_ascii attribute
7 2010-07-06 changed point_name attribute to name
6 2010-03-01 object class change, removed a number of attributes, changed attribute description, added name_macronated attribute
5 2003-06-30 new and removed attributes
4 2002-09-18 attribute description
3 2002-06-18 attribute description
2 2001-11-23 unspecified update
1 2001-09-05 initial status