Polar place names

The Norwegian Polar Institute is the official agency responsible for place names in the Norwegian polar regions. Find detailed information about these place names, their origins and definitions using our online service.

The place names are officially adopted by the naming committee at the Norwegian Polar Institute.

It is possible to search place names on https://placenames.npolar.no


The Norwegian Polar Institute's responsibility for place names and naming conventions applies to these areas:

  • Svalbard, including Bjørnøya (“Bear Island”)
  • Jan Mayen
  • Dronning Maud Land (“Queen Maud Land”)
  • Bouvetøya (“Bouvet Island”)
  • Peter I Øy (“Peter I Island”)
  • The waters off all of the above

About the place names in the Antarctic

Place names in the Antarctic are both national and international. For example, when the British Antarctic Survey prints a map covering Dronning Maud Land ("Norwegian sector"), they write "Kronprins Olav Kyst" and "Maudheimvidda". This practice is agreed upon by many of the respective national agencies; place names are not translated.

As stated in the Antarctic Treaty, no nation is the owner of any part of the Antarctic, and territorial claims are suspended indefinitely. Naming issues are resolved by the Norwegian Polar Institute's naming committee in co-operation with the Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information.

The naming committee

The naming committee at the Norwegian Polar Institute:

Want to get in touch with the naming committee? Send an e-mail to or call +47 77 75 05 00.