A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Rock Springs, Wyoming

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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 Rock Springs: 2410976

GNIS ID for Sweetwater County: 1609192

GNIS ID for Wyoming: 1779807

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 Rock Springs:

Place (Community) Code:  67235
State Code:  56 (Wyoming)
County Code:  037 (Sweetwater 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:  56/67235
State/County Code:  56/037

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 Wyoming:    56   1779807
Sweetwater County:    56/037   1609192
Rock Springs:    56/67235   2410976

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

Lat:   41° 35' 45"   (or 41.6°)

Lon:   -109° 13' 25"   (or -109.22°)   [Map]

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

Lat:   41° 35' 42"   (or 41.6°)

Lon:   -109° 13' 25"   (or -109.22°)   [Map]

The map point defined by the Census Bureau lies 297.9 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:   41° 35' 27"   (or 41.59°)

Lon:   -109° 13' 20"   (or -109.22°)   [Map]

The GPS location given for the 2000 Census lies 1,539 feet to the south<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. Rock Springs is located in Region #4 (the West Region).

In turn, the US Census Bureau has further divided each Region into Divisions. Rock Springs is located in Division #8 (the Mountain Division).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has created ten Federal Regions. Rock Springs is located in Region VIII (Region 8).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created ten Management Regions. Rock Springs is located in Region VIII (Region 8).

ZIP Codes ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Rock Springs, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Rock Springs. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code are defined by the needs of the USPS and can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for Rock Springs: 82901<3>

Referenced GNIS Records ...

GNIS ID #1593588   (Name of Record: Rock Springs)

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: Sweetwater

Map Name: Rock Springs

Lat: 41.5874644       Lon: -109.2029043   [Map]

Elev: 1947 ft.

GNIS ID #2410976   (Name of Record: City of Rock Springs)

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: Sweetwater

Map Name: Rock Springs

Lat: 41.5958641       Lon: -109.22367   [Map]

Elev: 1928 ft.

Referenced FIPS Records ...

FIPS Code: 56/67235   (Place Name: Rock Springs)

County: Sweetwater     (FIPS State/County: 56/037)

Class: C1

Identifies an incorporated place (ie- Rock Springs) 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- Sweetwater County).

GSA Code: 730

MRF Code: 390

Other Roadside Stops ...

The Communities of Wyoming

About Sweetwater County

About Wyoming

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website for Rock Springs:

The official website for Sweetwater County:

The official website for State of Wyoming:

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 181 degrees and a distance of 297.9 feet.
<2>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2000 Census location is 192 degrees and a distance of 1,539 feet.
<3>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Rock Springs or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).




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This page was last modified: 28 Sep 2021