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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 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 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 Minnetonka: 2395350

GNIS ID for Hennepin County: 659472

GNIS ID for Minnesota: 662849

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 Minnetonka:

Place (Community) Code:  43252
State Code:  27 (Minnesota)
County Code:  053 (Hennepin 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:  27/43252
State/County Code:  27/053

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 Minnesota:    27   662849
Hennepin County:    27/053   659472
Minnetonka:    27/43252   2395350

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

Lat:   44° 55' 56"   (or 44.93°)

Lon:   -93° 27' 36"   (or -93.46°)  

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

Lat:   44° 55' 57"   (or 44.93°)

Lon:   -93° 27' 23"   (or -93.46°)  

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 943 feet to the east<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:   44° 55' 55"   (or 44.93°)

Lon:   -93° 27' 41"   (or -93.46°)  

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 1,318 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. Minnetonka is located in Region #2 (the Midwest Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Minnetonka is located in Division #4 (the West North-Central Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Minnetonka is located in Region V (Region 5).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Minnetonka is located in Region V (Region 5).

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 Minnetonka, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Minnetonka. 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 Minnetonka: 55345<3>

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #647949   (Name of Record: Minnetonka)

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: Hennepin

Map Name: Excelsior

Lat: 44.9132965       Lon: -93.5032877  

Elev: 275 ft.

GNIS ID #2395350   (Name of Record: City of Minnetonka)

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: Hennepin

Map Name: Hopkins

Lat: 44.9323429       Lon: -93.46019  

Elev: 299 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 27/43252   (Place Name: Minnetonka)

County: Hennepin     (FIPS State/County: 27/053)

Class: C5

GSA Code: 4810

MRF Code: 2610

MSA Code: 5120

The official website for Minnetonka:

The official website for Hennepin County:

The official website for State of Minnesota:

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 275 degrees and a distance of 943 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 98 degrees and a distance of 1,318 feet.
<3>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Minnetonka 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