A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Cairo, West Virginia

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The location of Cairo

Click for Interactive Map
(GPS coordinates provided by the GNIS)
Click here for an interactive map for Cairo
and the surrounding area.

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 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 Cairo: 2390764

GNIS ID for Ritchie County: 1689049

GNIS ID for West Virginia: 1779805

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 Cairo:

Place (Community) Code:  12124
State Code:  54 (West Virginia)
County Code:  085 (Ritchie 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:  54/12124
State/County Code:  54/085

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 West Virginia:    54   1779805
Ritchie County:    54/085   1689049
Cairo:    54/12124   2390764

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

Lat:   39° 12' 24"   (or 39.21°)

Lon:   -81° 9' 15"   (or -81.15°)   [Map]

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

Lat:   39° 12' 26"   (or 39.21°)

Lon:   -81° 9' 13"   (or -81.15°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 286.3 feet to the northeast<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:   39° 12' 29"   (or 39.21°)

Lon:   -81° 9' 23"   (or -81.16°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 890 feet to the west<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. Cairo is located in Region #3 (the South Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Cairo is located in Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).

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

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

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #1536852   (Name of Record: Cairo)

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: Ritchie

Map Name: Cairo

Lat: 39.2086894       Lon: -81.1573349   [Map]

Elev: 199 ft.

GNIS ID #2390764   (Name of Record: Town of Cairo)

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: Ritchie

Map Name: Cairo

Lat: 39.2066995       Lon: -81.154301   [Map]

Elev: 258 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 54/12124   (Place Name: Cairo)

County: Ritchie     (FIPS State/County: 54/085)

Class: C1

Identifies an incorporated place (ie- Cairo) 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- Ritchie County).

GSA Code: 370

MRF Code: 220

Other Roadside Stops ...

Find a Community within West Virginia

About Ritchie County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

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

The official website for State of West Virginia:

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 322 degrees and a distance of 286.3 feet.

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<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 67 degrees and a distance of 890 feet.

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For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Cairo.