A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

New York, New York
(New York County)

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other NY

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 New York: 2395220

GNIS ID for New York County: 974129

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 New York:

Place (Community) Code:  51000
State Code:  36 (New York)
County Code:  061 (New York 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:  36/51000
State/County Code:  36/061

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
New York County:    36/061   974129
New York:    36/51000   2395220

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

Lat:   40° 39' 49"   (or 40.66°)

Lon:   -73° 56' 18"   (or -73.94°)   [Map]

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

Lat:   40° 39' 51"   (or 40.66°)

Lon:   -73° 56' 18"   (or -73.94°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 160.8 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:   40° 42' 15"   (or 40.7°)

Lon:   -73° 55' 4"   (or -73.92°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 2 miles to the north<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. New York is located in Region #1 (the Northeast Region).

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

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

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

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #975772   (Name of Record: New York)

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: New York

Map Name: Jersey City

Lat: 40.7142691       Lon: -74.0059729   [Map]

Elev: 10 ft.

GNIS ID #2395220   (Name of Record: City of New York)

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: New York

Map Name: Brooklyn

Lat: 40.6638332       Lon: -73.938484   [Map]

Elev: 22 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 36/51000   (Place Name: New York)

County: Bronx     (FIPS State/County: 36/005      Count/Seq: 05/01)

Class: C1

Identifies an incorporated place (ie- New York) 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- New York County).

GSA Code: 4170

MRF Code: 2505

MSA Code: 5600

Other Roadside Stops ...

The Communities of New York

About New York County

About New York

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website for New York:

The official website for State of New York:

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 1 degrees and a distance of 160.8 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 338 degrees and a distance of 2 miles.




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This page was last modified: 27 Apr 2022