“The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the USGS in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), contains information for almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States and its territories. ”
The GNIS Query Form is a great tool that I’ve used quite extensively over the years. Soon after I first started using it, I stumbled across TerraServer and was able to get aerial images of the areas I was researching by entering the coordinates I found on GNIS into TerraServer. Today, you can go directly to the TerraServer images from the GNIS pages as well as other on-line mapping services, including GoogleMap.
In under a minute, I was able to find an aerial view of my house on GoogleMap using the name of a nearby rural church. I also looked at the TerraServer view and, in this case, at least, GoogleMap has the better image.
More map related links are avalable at The Freehold
Post from one of my abandoned blogs – North Farnham Freeholder – recovered from Internet Archive WayBackMachine 2/28/2011 – page