Standardization of geographical names is defined as a set of measures that ensure a uniformity of geographical names and their binding use. Systematic standardization of geographical names in the Slovak Republic began with the establishment of a Name Commission in 1970. The role of the Commission, which is composed of representatives of professional and scientific departments, central authorities, universities and experts of other organizations, is to assess and edit geographical names and prepare proposals for their standardization.
The executive body of the Commission, whose present name is The Name Commission of the Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre Authority of the Slovak Republic (NK UGKK SR), is the Secretariat of NK UGKK SR. Since 2000 is the Secretariat under the name “Department of Geographical Names” part of the ZBGIS department. The Secretariat, in addition to expert assessment of names, prepares all materials and documents for the Commission meetings. Geographical names are standardized according to the principles set out in the Instruction on Standardization of Geographical Names in accordance with the Slovak Spelling Rules, based on the current level of knowledge and international standardization principles. The standardization of geographical names is carried out according to the approved Concept of the development of standardization of geographical names in the Slovak Republic for 2011-2015.
The meaning and scope of the activities of the Name Commission is cross-sectoral and therefore the Act No. 215/1995 Coll. on geodesy and cartography sets out the general obligation to use standardized geographical names for cartographic publishers, professional publications, for use in the press and other means of mass communication and in the official activities of public administration bodies. This is also valid for publishers of cartographic works and professional publications published in foreign languages and for use in print and other means of mass communication distributed in foreign languages. Documents on activities related to the standardization of geographical names can be found here.
DATABASE OF GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES FROM SLOVAKIA
The creation of a separate database of geographical names from the Slovak territory was completed in 2003. Since then the database is updated continuously. It consists of a set of standardized names of all residential and non-residential geographical features within the scope of the Feature Catalogue of the Topographic Database for the Geographic Information System (KTO ZBGIS®). The database currently contains about 90,000 names. The basic source of information is the published lists of standardized names from the Basic Map of Slovakia at 1:10 000 scale, the Basic Map of Slovakia at 1:50 000 scale and the Water Management Map of Slovakia at 1:50 000 scale, together with additional information.
Names from the information system of real estate cadastre and the names of features that are in the administration of central or local institutions are gradually added to the database in order to create a unified database of geographical names. In 2004 the database of geographical names became part of ZBGIS® in order to gradually link the database with the geometry of topographic features. A revision of the names and their attributes was carried out in 2012 in order to become an integral part of the ZBGIS. The structure of the database has been modified according to the requirements of the EuroGeoNames project and also according to the INSPIRE specifications. The standardized geographical names are provided free of charge in several forms. The database of geographical names from the Slovak territory can be downloaded here in these formats: Esri SHP, Esri MDB, Esri GDB and CSV. The data is accessible through WMS and WFS mapping services.