A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
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, establish 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 Orcas: 1512531
GNIS ID for San Juan County: 1531931
GNIS ID for Washington: 1779804
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 Orcas:
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:
As already mentioned, the FIPS codes are to be replaced by the GNIS codes. The following reflect those changes:
GPS Location - GNIS Coordinates ...
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 Orcas, it is a point within Orcas 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 Orcas, the GNIS GPS location is given as:
Lat: 48° 35' 52" (or 48.6°)
Lon: -122° 56' 40" (or -122.94°) [Map]
Regional Codes ...
For statistical purposes, the US Census Bureau has divided the country into four Regions. Orcas is located in Region #4 (the West Region).
In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Orcas is located in Division #9 (the Pacific Division).
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Orcas is located in Region X (Region 10).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Orcas is located in Region X (Region 10).
Referenced GNIS Records ...
GNIS ID #1512531 (Name of Record: Orcas)
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: San Juan
Map Name: Shaw Island
Lat: 48.5978797 Lon: -122.9446258 [Map]
Elev: 13 ft.
Referenced FIPS Records ...
FIPS Code: 53/51550 (Place Name: Orcas)
County: San Juan (FIPS State/County: 53/055)
Identifies a populated place (ie- Orcas) that is wholly or substantially located outside the boundaries of any incorporated place or CDP (Census Designated Place) that has an authoritative common name recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
GSA Code: 1604
Other Roadside Stops ...
Off-the-Road Links ...
Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Orcas. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.
The official website for San Juan County: www.co.san-juan.wa.us/
The official website for State of Washington: https://access.wa.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)
Please keep in mind that we can not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information on this website, so use with care. We encourage you to double-check the information that is critical to you.
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This page was last modified: 27 Apr 2022