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State Committee on Property of the Republic of Belarus State Committee on Property of the Republic of Belarus Государственный комитет по имуществу

Geodesy and Cartography




Names of geographical features

State Catalogue of Geographical Names in the Republic of Belarus


The State Catalogue of Geographical Names in the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter referred to as the State Catalogue) is a modern electronic database including the names of geographical features in Belarus. It is regularly updated with the latest information from official sources and is an integral part of the State Geodesy and Mapping Fund of the Republic of Belarus.

The State Catalogue was compiled in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On the names of geographical features".

The procedure of state registration of the names of geographical features, compilation and maintenance of the State Catalogue is regulated by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus and described in the instruction on the procedure of state registration of the names of geographical features, compilation and maintenance of the State Catalogue of Geographical Names in the Republic of Belarus approved by Resolution No.47 of the State Committee on Property as of 22 June 2011.

The compilation of the State Catalogue is aimed at:

  • ensuring the uniform and steady use of names of geographical features in the Belarusian and Russian languages as well as the use of Latin transliterations of Belarusian geographical names in all legislative acts, official documents, reference editions and encyclopedias, in correspondence, mass media, and on maps;
  • preservation of geographical names as an integral part of the historical and cultural legacy of the Republic of Belarus;
  • provision of up-to-date official information regarding geographical names to government bodies, other organizations, individuals, including self-employed businessmen.
Geographical names are included in the State Catalogue by the topographic and geodetic republican unitary enterprise Belgeodesy (hereinafter referred to as Belgeodesy).

The State Catalogue shall include the names of existing geographical features as well as the names of newly formed or discovered nameless geographical features assigned to them in accordance with the Belarusian legislation. The names assigned to newly formed or discovered nameless geographical features as well as the names of foreign geographical features discovered by Belarusian researchers are included in the State Catalogue in a standardized form.

The State Catalogue includes geographical names in the Belarusian and Russian languages, as well as the Latin transcriptions of Belarusian geographical names. Each name in the State Catalogue has a state registration number, information about the origin of the name in the Belarusian and Russian languages, the type of the geographical feature, the administrative or territorial subordination, geographic coordinates, and additional information needed for the identification of a geographical feature with a specific name.

Geographical names are included in the State Catalogue following the resolutions of the authorized government bodies (organizations) and the organizations in charge of the registration geographical names.

Factsheets reflecting the changes of the names of geographical features in the Republic of Belarus are compiled twice a year using the data from the State Catalogue. These factsheets are annually used to compile electronic factsheets reflecting the changes of the names geographical features in the CIS member states.

The national catalogue features the following sections:

  • names of administrative-territorial and territorial units;
  • names of transport infrastructure facilities;
  • names of components of populated localities;
  • names of physiographic features;
  • names of geographic features discovered outside the territory of the Republic of Belarus by Belarusian explorers.
The information about the names of geographic features is available at http://maps.by/. More information in hardcopy or electronic format can be acquired from RUP Belgeodesy at 17 Masherova Avenue, Minsk.

Contact number: +375 17-334-74-92, Inna Stepanovich, Lead Specialist, Editorial Department of RUP Belgeodesy.

The Toponymical Commission at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus coordinates efforts to work out common approach to recognizing, standardizing and naming geographical features as well as renaming, applying and carrying out state recordkeeping of these names.