A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Bismarck, North Dakota

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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 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 identifier 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 Bismarck: 1035934

GNIS ID for Burleigh County: 1035614

GNIS ID for North Dakota: 1779797

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 Bismarck:

Place (Community) Code:  07200
State Code:  38 (North Dakota)
County Code:  015 (Burleigh 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:  38/07200
State/County Code:  38/015

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

 FIPS Code   translates to   GNIS Code
State of North Dakota:    38   1779797
Burleigh County:    38/015   1035614
Bismarck:    38/07200   1035934

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

Lat:   46° 48' 19"   (or 46.81°)

Lon:   -100° 46' 3"   (or -100.77°)   [Map]

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

Lat:   46° 48' 39"   (or 46.81°)

Lon:   -100° 46' 12"   (or -100.77°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 2,094 feet to the north<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:   46° 48' 48"   (or 46.81°)

Lon:   -100° 46' 44"   (or -100.78°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 2,374 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. Bismarck is located in Region #2 (the Midwest Region).

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

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Bismarck is located in Region VIII (Region 8).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Bismarck is located in Region VIII (Region 8).

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #1035849   (Name of Record: Bismarck)

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: Burleigh

Map Name: Bismarck

Lat: 46.8083268       Lon: -100.7837392   [Map]

Elev: 514 ft.

GNIS ID #1035934   (Name of Record: City of Bismarck)

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: Burleigh

Map Name: Bismarck

Lat: 46.8055491       Lon: -100.7676275   [Map]

Elev: 512 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 38/07200   (Place Name: Bismarck)

County: Burleigh     (FIPS State/County: 38/015)

Class: C5

GSA Code: 370

MRF Code: 195

MSA Code: 1010

Other Roadside Stops ...

Find a Community within North Dakota

About Burleigh County

About North Dakota

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website for Bismarck:

The official website for Burleigh County:

The official website for State of North Dakota:

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 17 degrees and a distance of 2,094 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 69 degrees and a distance of 2,374 feet.




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This page was last modified: 18 Apr 2022