A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
San Rafael, California
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 San Rafael: 2411804
GNIS ID for Marin County: 277285
GNIS ID for California: 1779778
FIPS Codes ...
In a past effort, various federal agencies created a set of codes with a purpose similar to the GNIS codes. These codes are called the Federal Information Processing Standard (or the FIPS 55 codes). Although they are still used by some organizations, the FIPS codes are obsolete and will ultimately be replaced by the GNIS codes.
The following FIPS codes apply to San Rafael:
Since the Place and County FIPS codes are not unique and can be repeated in other States, it's necessary to combine the State code with the Place and County FIPS codes to uniquely identify them - for example:
As already mentioned, the FIPS codes are to be replaced by the GNIS codes. The following reflect those changes:
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 San Rafael, it is a point within San Rafael 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 San Rafael, the GNIS GPS location is given as:
Lat: 37° 58' 54" (or 37.98°)
Lon: -122° 30' 27" (or -122.51°) [Map]
Determined by its statistical needs, the Census Bureau has defined a sampling area for San Rafael - 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 San Rafael, the Census 2010 GPS location is given as:
Lat: 37° 58' 51" (or 37.98°)
Lon: -122° 30' 24" (or -122.51°) [Map]
The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 329.6 feet to the southeast<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: 37° 58' 59" (or 37.98°)
Lon: -122° 31' 25" (or -122.52°) [Map]
The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 4,886 feet to the west<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. San Rafael is located in Region #4 (the West Region).
In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. San Rafael is located in Division #9 (the Pacific Division).
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. San Rafael is located in Region IX (Region 9).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. San Rafael is located in Region IX (Region 9).
ZIP Codes ...
While some people have used ZIP codes to identify a community, the ZIP codes were actually created to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although a ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like San Rafael, they do identify addresses that are in (or near) the city. 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.
Our list of ZIP codes for San Rafael :
94901, 94903, 94912 & 94913.<3>
Referenced GNIS Records ...
GNIS ID #1659589 (Name of Record: San Rafael)
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.
Map Name: San Francisco and Vicinity
Lat: 37.9735346 Lon: -122.5310874 [Map]
Elev: 13 ft.
GNIS ID #2411804 (Name of Record: City of San Rafael)
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.
Map Name: San Francisco and Vicinity
Lat: 37.9817829 Lon: -122.50751 [Map]
Elev: 49 ft.
Referenced FIPS Records ...
FIPS Code: 06/68364 (Place Name: San Rafael)
County: Marin (FIPS State/County: 06/041)
GSA Code: 3410
MRF Code: 2565
MSA Code: 7360
Other Roadside Stops ...
Off-the-Road Links ...
The official website for San Rafael: www.cityofsanrafael.org/
The official website for Marin County: www.co.marin.ca.us/
The official website for State of California: https://www.ca.gov/
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 of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
The official website of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Please keep in mind that we can not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information on this website, so use with care. We encourage you to double-check the information that is critical to you.
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This page was last modified: 17 Apr 2022