A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Dawson, Pennsylvania
(Fayette County)

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other PA

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 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 Dawson: 1215225

GNIS ID for Fayette County: 1209179

GNIS ID for Pennsylvania: 1779798

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 Dawson:

Place (Community) Code:  18360
State Code:  42 (Pennsylvania)
County Code:  051 (Fayette 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:  42/18360
State/County Code:  42/051

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 Pennsylvania:    42   1779798
Fayette County:    42/051   1209179
Dawson:    42/18360   1215225

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

Lat:   40° 2' 48"   (or 40.05°)

Lon:   -79° 39' 14"   (or -79.65°)   [Map]

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

Lat:   40° 2' 49"   (or 40.05°)

Lon:   -79° 39' 24"   (or -79.66°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 855 feet to the west<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° 2' 52"   (or 40.05°)

Lon:   -79° 39' 31"   (or -79.66°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 545 feet to the northwest<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. Dawson is located in Region #1 (the Northeast Region).

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

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

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

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #1172998   (Name of Record: Dawson)

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: Fayette

Map Name: Dawson

Lat: 40.0470186       Lon: -79.654484   [Map]

Elev: 261 ft.

GNIS ID #1215225   (Name of Record: Borough of Dawson)

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: Fayette

Map Name: Dawson

Lat: 40.0467409       Lon: -79.6539285   [Map]

Elev: 262 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 42/18360   (Place Name: Dawson)

County: Fayette     (FIPS State/County: 42/051)

Class: C5

GSA Code: 1920

MRF Code: 2680

MSA Code: 6280

Other Roadside Stops ...

The Communities of Pennsylvania

About Fayette County

About Pennsylvania

Off-the-Road Links ...

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Dawson. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for Fayette County:

The official website for State of Pennsylvania:

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 79 degrees and a distance of 855 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 61 degrees and a distance of 545 feet.






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This page was last modified: 21 Sep 2020