A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Town of Lorain, Wisconsin

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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, 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 Lorain: 1583599

GNIS ID for Polk County: 1581108

GNIS ID for Wisconsin: 1779806

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 Lorain:

Place (Community) Code:  45775
State Code:  55 (Wisconsin)
County Code:  095 (Polk 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:  55/45775
State/County Code:  55/095

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 Wisconsin:    55   1779806
Polk County:    55/095   1581108
Lorain:    55/45775   1583599

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

Lat:   45° 41' 6"   (or 45.69°)

Lon:   -92° 13' 11"   (or -92.22°)   [Map]

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

Lat:   45° 40' 45"   (or 45.68°)

Lon:   -92° 13' 9"   (or -92.22°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 2,199 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:   45° 41' 38"   (or 45.69°)

Lon:   -92° 14' 11"   (or -92.24°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 6,930 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. Lorain is located in Region #2 (the Midwest Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Lorain is located in Division #3 (the East North-Central Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Lorain is located in Region V (Region 5).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Lorain is located in Region V (Region 5).

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #1583599   (Name of Record: Town of Lorain)

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: Polk

Map Name: Indian Creek

Lat: 45.6852274       Lon: -92.2199108   [Map]

Elev: 340 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 55/45775   (Place Name: Lorain (Town of))

County: Polk     (FIPS State/County: 55/095)

Class: T1

Other Roadside Stops ...

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Off-the-Road Links ...

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

The official website for Polk County:

The official website for State of Wisconsin:

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 183 degrees and a distance of 2,199 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 39 degrees and a distance of 6,930 feet.






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This page was last modified: 25 Feb 2021