Glossary and Definitions ...
- Area Code Overlay
- An Overlay refers to the situation in which two (or more) area codes (eg- 304, 681) serve the same geographic area. In the case of Alton, area code (681) is the Overlay for area code (304).
The Overlay is necessary when the geographic area requires (or in the future will need) more phone numbers than can be provided by a single area code.
When an Overlay is present, 10-digit dialing becomes necessary for all calls, even if local. There are different types of Overlays, with each Overlay having its own characteristics and dialing requirements.
If you would like to learn more about Overlays, we suggest the Wikipedia entry for Overlays.
- A demonym is the name for a resident of a community which is usually derived from (or is related to) the name of that community. In other words, it's how residents of Alton refer to themselves. It's important to note that there aren't any rules for taking a community's name and turning it into a demonym. A demonym is informal and while the majority of Alton may use one name, keep in mind that others may use something different.
A demonym for Alton is Altonian.
For example: My brother has moved to the other side of the state, yet he still thinks of himself as a Altonian.
- FIPS Codes
- In the past, the federal government created a set of codes that are used to uniquely identify States, Counties and Populated Places (such as a community like Alton). These codes form the Federal Information Processing Standard. (specifically FIPS Document 55-3).
The State Code consists of two digits, the County Code consists of three digits and the Place Code consists of five digits. The County and Place Codes must be used together with the State Code to be truly unique.
For example, the following codes apply to the community of Alton:
- State Code: 54 (West Virginia)
- State / County Code: 54 / 097 (Upshur County)
- State / Place Code: 54 / 01348
The FIPS Codes have been replaced by an ANSI standard and the GNIS Feature ID. Although obsolete, the FIPS Codes are still in use by some organizations.
For more information about the FIPS Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Alton.
- GNIS Codes
- The function of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is to establish uniform names for geographic features (eg- communities, mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, etc). The BGN was created to address the problems caused by spelling and naming variations. BGN–accepted names are kept in a database called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), which is operated and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
A unique and permanent identifier has been assigned for each feature in the GNIS database. These names and identifiers are definitive.
Alton has been given the GNIS Feature ID of '1553721'. Click here to see the GNIS Record for Alton.