Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers -------------------- Start of message text -------------------- On Wed, 10 Apr 2002, Russell Griechen wrote: >...As Anthony said; presumably the lat/long coords provided will represent >the geographical center of each ZIP code, perhaps with other spatial data. Centroid of the polygon usually, which is pretty much OK unless you want to *accurately* map them (I once worked on a project mapping cash dispensers for a bank, and centroid of a postcode containing on average about 20 properties wasn't good enough even in cities) >As for foreign postal codes - my understanding is that many countries >handle (in many circumstances) consider postal codes to be more or less >"optional" - there are often geographical correlations that aren't >apparent to foreigners or nationals who've never pondered the subject. >For example, the first letter of a Canadian postal code correlates >directly to a given province (or the NWT). http://evolt.org/article/rating/4090/15118/index.html http://www.columbia.edu/kermit/postal.html The attached press release might be of interest too... >The same is true in the U.S. as in Canada; the first two digits of a ZIP >code will inform the destination state of post, while the third will tell >you which Main PO takes that mail before it is sent to the local PO and >from there to the recipient... That's the UK theory. NFI for France. Cheers Martin [interesting press release below] > The Post Office > > > > CACI's Information Systems Division has recently tackled a long-standing > problem for The Post Office - to produce a system which will assess > international sortation (or I-Sort) software for direct mail campaigns > posted from the UK to anywhere in the world. Approached by the > International > Services business unit to produce a service similar to that which CACI > already performs for Royal Mail's Mailsort customers for postings > within the > UK. The trickiest task initially was to produce a standard sortation > database which would be useable for all the different formats of > addressing > throughout the world. > > For example, in Ireland nowhere outside Dublin has a postcode. Germany > insists on the postcode appearing before the town name and the house > number > after the street name; Australian addresses should show the abbreviated > state name between the town and postcode, and addresses in the Russian > Federation start with the country name, followed by the town/city name, > then > the street and finally the addressee. This was all before we built in > allowances for commonly-used variations such as USA, U.S.A., United > States, > etc. (although the stipulation was made that all addresses presented > must be > in English). > > CACI spent much of the summer wrangling with these complexities, > producing a > database which could handle all the different types of addressing > standards > encountered while at the same time flexible enough to be updated as, for > example, overseas postal authorities change their labelling > requirements, > flight patterns to minor airports are altered, or political events > demand > service changes.?all with little or no warning. > > The second phase of this project now underway is to provide the software > assessment service entirely over the web. Bureaux who are writing > international sortation software and who wish it to be assessed by CACI > on > The Post Office's behalf will access the I-Sort website to register for > the > service, and then be able to download the relevant materials to begin > the > process. Results for assessment will be submitted online, and CACI will > respond electronically to the software suppliers with their results. Of > course, a telephone helpline will also be provided by CACI for software > developers or others who may have queries about the process or service > offered. > > This phase of the project will share resources already in place to serve > Royal Mail's Mailsort customers. The Mailsort Technical Website is > hosted on > an NT/IIS web server leased with support and maintenance from a > third-party > ISP. The server runs Oracle 8i database server and ColdFusion > application > server. Over the coming months this system will provide many interactive > features harnessing these products, including customer registration with > rapid address entry, generation of customised I-Sort databases (ie for > specific parts of the world) and a flexible portal providing access to a > database of technical documentation. --------------------- End of message text -------------------- This e-mail is sent by the above named in their individual, non-business capacity and is not on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers. PricewaterhouseCoopers may monitor outgoing and incoming e-mails and other telecommunications on its e-mail and telecommunications systems. ---------------------------------------------------------------- The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. 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