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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 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 Canton: 2391580

GNIS ID for Saint Lawrence County: 977309

GNIS ID for New York: 1779796

FIPS Codes ...

In a past effort, various federal agencies worked together to create 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 Canton:

Place (Community) Code:  12331
State Code:  36 (New York)
County Code:  089 (Saint Lawrence 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:  36/12331
State/County Code:  36/089

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 New York:    36   1779796
Saint Lawrence County:    36/089   977309
Canton:    36/12331   2391580

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

Lat:   44° 35' 59"   (or 44.6°)

Lon:   -75° 10' 14"   (or -75.17°)  

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

Lat:   44° 35' 58"   (or 44.6°)

Lon:   -75° 10' 14"   (or -75.17°)  

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 141.8 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:   44° 35' 51"   (or 44.6°)

Lon:   -75° 10' 16"   (or -75.17°)  

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 708 feet to the south<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. Canton is located in Region #1 (the Northeast Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Canton is located in Division #2 (the Middle Atlantic Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Canton is located in Region II (Region 2).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Canton is located in Region II (Region 2).

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #976078   (Name of Record: Canton)

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: St. Lawrence

Map Name: Canton

Lat: 44.5956163       Lon: -75.1690942  

Elev: 115 ft.


GNIS ID #2391580   (Name of Record: Village of Canton)

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: St. Lawrence

Map Name: Canton

Lat: 44.5998982       Lon: -75.170634  

Elev: 119 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 36/12331   (Place Name: Canton)

County: St. Lawrence     (FIPS State/County: 36/089)

Class: C1

Identifies an incorporated place (ie- Canton) 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- Saint Lawrence County).

GSA Code: 880

MRF Code: 515

The official website for Canton: www.village.canton.ny.us/

The official website for Saint Lawrence County: www.co.st-lawrence.ny.us/

The official website for State of New York: https://www.ny.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)

Footnotes ...

<1>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS-supplied location is 176 degrees and a distance of 141.8 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 169 degrees and a distance of 708 feet.









 

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This page was last modified/updated: 07 Apr 2024