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Kaktovik, Alaska

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 The location of Kaktovik 

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Various Identification Codes ...

GNIS Codes ...

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) was created to address the problems caused by spelling and naming variations. The BGN will usually recognize an existing name or, when necessary, chose a new name for a geographic feature (such as a mountain, lake, river, stream, city, town, village, dam, bridge, etc).

The BGN names are kept in a database called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and it is the official Federal repository. The GNIS is operated and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

A unique and permanent numeric code has been assigned for each name in the GNIS database. These names and identifiers are definitive and it is intended that they are to be used by all departments of the Federal Government:

GNIS ID for Kaktovik: 2419404

GNIS ID for Alaska: 1785533

GPS Location - GNIS vs Census ...

An important aspect of the GNIS code is that it assigns a GPS location (the latitude/longitude) to the geographic feature. This location is simply a point on the map and does not represent the size or shape of the feature. In the case of Kaktovik, it is a point within Kaktovik that might be a post office, the city hall or simply an intersection - the point should really be considered arbitrary and only indicating a general location.

For Kaktovik, the GNIS GPS location is given as:

Lat:   70° 7' 46"   (or 70.1°)

Lon:   -143° 37' 35"   (or -143.63°)   [Map]

Determined by its statistical needs, the Census Bureau has defined a sampling area for Kaktovik - this area also contains a map point. As with the GNIS code, the location of the Census point should be considered as being arbitrary within the sampling area.

For Kaktovik, the Census 2010 GPS location is given as:

Lat:   70° 7' 16"   (or 70.1°)

Lon:   -143° 37' 46"   (or -143.63°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 3,100 feet to the south<1> of the point given by the GNIS (see above).

You might note that the GPS location given for the 2010 Census is different than the location that was specified by the 2000 Census:

Lat:   70° 7' 58"   (or 70.1°)

Lon:   -143° 36' 58"   (or -143.62°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 4,547 feet to the north<2> of the point given by the 2010 Census.

Regional Codes ...

For statistical purposes, the US Census Bureau has divided the country into four Regions. Kaktovik is located in Region #4 (the West Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Kaktovik is located in Division #9 (the Pacific Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Kaktovik is located in Region X (Region 10).

ZIP Codes ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Kaktovik, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Kaktovik. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code are defined by the needs of the USPS and can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for Kaktovik: 99747<3>

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #1404349   (Name of Record: Kaktovik)

Class: populated place

A place or area having clustered or scattered buildings and a permanent population (such as a city, settlement, town or village). The boundaries may or may not coincide with the perceived population.

A 'populated place' record may have a corresponding 'census' or 'civil' record. The information contained in the 'populated place' record applies only to the class and should not be confused with either the 'census' and 'civil' classes.

County: North Slope

Map Name: Barter Island A-5

Lat: 70.1319444       Lon: -143.6238889   [Map]

Elev: 8

GNIS ID #2419404   (Name of Record: City of Kaktovik)

Class: civil

A political division formed for administrative purposes (such as a borough, county, incorporated place, parish, town or township).

A 'civil' record may have a corresponding 'census' or 'populated place' record. The information contained in the 'civil' record applies only to the class and should not be confused with either the 'census' and 'populated place' classes.

County: North Slope

Map Name: Barter Island A-5

Lat: 70.1296481       Lon: -143.62651   [Map]

Elev: 14

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 02/36990   (Place Name: Kaktovik)

County: North Slope     (FIPS State/County: 02/185)

Class: C6

GSA Code: 1160

MRF Code: 1560

Other Roadside Stops ...

The Communities of Alaska

About Alaska

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website for Kaktovik:

The official website for State of Alaska:

Footnotes ...

<1>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the GNIS-supplied location is 173 degrees.

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<2>The calculated bearing (or the angle) to the 2000 Census location is 338 degrees.

- Return to Citation

<3>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Kaktovik or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

- Return to Citation

For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Kaktovik.


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This page was last modified: 18 Oct 2016
By John Hall