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Miscellaneous Information

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 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 identification number 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 Annapolis: 2390562

GNIS ID for Anne Arundel County: 1710958

GNIS ID for Maryland: 1714934

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 Annapolis:

Place (Community) Code:  01600
State Code:  24 (Maryland)
County Code:  003 (Anne Arundel County)

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:

State/Place Code:  24/01600
State/County Code:  24/003

As already mentioned, the FIPS codes are to be replaced by the GNIS codes. The following reflect those changes:

 FIPS Code
translates to    
State of Maryland:    24   1714934
Anne Arundel County:    24/003   1710958
Annapolis:    24/01600   2390562

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 Annapolis, it is a point within Annapolis 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 Annapolis, the GNIS GPS location is given as:

Lat:   38° 58' 13"   (or 38.97°)

Lon:   -76° 30' 13"   (or -76.5°)  

Determined by its statistical needs, the Census Bureau has defined a sampling area for Annapolis - 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 Annapolis, the Census 2010 GPS location is given as:

Lat:   38° 58' 20"   (or 38.97°)

Lon:   -76° 30' 23"   (or -76.51°)  

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 953 feet to the northwest<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:   38° 58' 22"   (or 38.97°)

Lon:   -76° 30' 4"   (or -76.5°)  

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 1,504 feet to the east<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. Annapolis is located in Region #3 (the South Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Annapolis is located in Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Annapolis is located in Region III (Region 3).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Annapolis is located in Region III (Region 3).

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 Annapolis, 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 Annapolis : 21401, 21402, 21403, 21404, 21411 & 21412.<3>

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #595031   (Name of Record: Annapolis)

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: Anne Arundel

Map Name: Annapolis

Lat: 38.9784453       Lon: -76.4921829  

Elev: 13 ft.

GNIS ID #2390562   (Name of Record: City of Annapolis)

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: Anne Arundel

Map Name: South River

Lat: 38.9705458       Lon: -76.503879  

Elev: 1 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 24/01600   (Place Name: Annapolis)

County: Anne Arundel     (FIPS State/County: 24/003)

Class: C1

Identifies an incorporated place (ie- Annapolis) that does not serve as a primary county division - or in other words, it is included in and is part of a primary county division (ie- Anne Arundel County).

GSA Code: 30

MRF Code: 11

MSA Code: 720

The official website for Annapolis:

The official website for Anne Arundel County:

The official website for State of Maryland:

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)

Footnotes ...

<1>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS-supplied location is 48 degrees and a distance of 953 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 279 degrees and a distance of 1,504 feet.
<3>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Annapolis or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).


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This page was last modified/updated: 07 Apr 2024