Location Data for America is confusing



  • same cities in same states.

    but what is doubly triply confusing is there is one state called "Delaware" and also a city called "Delaware".



  • @Nagesh said:

    same cities in same states.

    but what is doubly triply confusing is there is one state called "Delaware" and also a city called "Delaware".

    Look up Springfield, and you'll get a joke in the Simpsons you might not have gotten before. EDIT: Oh, and look up Kansas City... that's a fun one, too.

    But, yes, this is why we put the state name after cities, unless they're huge or unique. You can say "Seattle." But you better put the state after "Ferndale".



  •  Big whoop.  There's a state called Washington that's nowhere near the city called Washington.  Kansas City (the one people mean when they just say "Kansas City") isn't even in Kansas.  Oklahoma City is the biggest city in Oklahoma and the state capital to boot, but Arizona City is a wide spot in the road.  The following cities and towns (the official term at the USGS website is "populated place") really exist:

    • Wyoming, Delaware
    • Delaware, Virginia
    • Virginia, Washington
    • Washington, Utah
    • Utah, Tennessee
    • Tennessee, Texas
    • Texas, Georgia
    • Georgia, Kansas
    • Kansas, Ohio
    • Ohio, Colorado
    • Colorado, Alaska
    • Alaska, Michigan
    • Michigan, Vermont
    • Vermont, Wisconsin
    • Wisconsin, Kentucky
    • Kentucky, Arkansas
    • Arkansas, West Virginia
    • West Virginia, Minnesota
    • Minnesota, California
    • California, Maine
    • Maine, Arizona
    • Arizona, Nebraska
    • Nebraska, Indiana
    • Indiana, Iowa
    • Iowa, Pennsylvania
    • Pennsylvania, Alabama
    • Alabama, New York
    • New York, Florida
    • Florida, New Mexico
    • New Mexico, Maryland
    • Maryland, Louisiana
    • Louisiana, Missouri

    I did some research once at the USGS site and discovered that there are only three "populated places" in states of the same name.  "New York, New York" is a gimme; how long will it take to find the other two?



  • @da Doctah said:

    "New York, New York" is a gimme; how long will it take to find the other two?
    Isn't it technically New York City?



  • There's also another category of confusing names such as Rome and Warsaw in New York and Dublin, Ohio. To add a layer of fun, Warsaw, New York is in Wyoming County.



    There's actually a good explanation for most of these -- the Unites States is pretty young and mostly populated by immigrants. They named the new places they founded after places they already knew.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @da Doctah said:

    "New York, New York" is a gimme; how long will it take to find the other two?
    Isn't it technically New York City?

     

    Nope.



  • @Jaime said:

    There's also another category of confusing names such as Rome and Warsaw in New York and Dublin, Ohio. To add a layer of fun, Warsaw, New York is in Wyoming County.



    There's actually a good explanation for most of these -- the Unites States is pretty young and mostly populated by immigrants. They named the new places they founded after places they already knew.
     

    Most of the big places in the US are named after smaller places somewhere else, while all the American towns named for really big places overseas tend to be on the tiny side.  Which brings up a nice trivia question:

     What's the largest pair of cities, one in the US and the other some other country, with the same name, where "largest" is defined in terms of "the member of the pair with the smallest population"?

     That bit about the less populous member of the pair is to keep someone from finding some little crossroads in Rwanda that happens to spell its name Chicago, or some little rinky-dink whistle stop in North Dakota named New Delhi, and screwing up the works.

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    I did some research once at the USGS site and discovered that there are only three "populated places" in states of the same name.  "New York, New York" is a gimme; how long will it take to find the other two?

    It depends on the definition of "populated place." For example, I know that Rhode Island has an island named Rhode Island, which is populated (Most call it by its alternative name Aquidneck Island to avoid confusion), but it's not a "populated place" in the sense that it's mentioned in any census data, since it consists of three cities and towns.

    During a trip to LA I do recall passing a district in the city called California. IIRC it consisted of several blocks somewhere between Hollywood and Santa Monica.



  • We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.



  •  A "populated place" is defined as anything that comes up on this search with the "Feature Class" set to "Populated Place":

    http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic



  • @Nagesh said:

    We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.

    The database that backs it up is a free download; you can make your own webservice in a few hours.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Nagesh said:
    We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.

    The database that backs it up is a free download; you can make your own webservice in a few hours.

    Thanks for useful informations. I will make attempt to download.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Nagesh said:
    We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.

    The database that backs it up is a free download; you can make your own webservice in a few hours.

    blakey,


    is not free. take look
    here



  • @Nagesh said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @Nagesh said:
    We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.

    The database that backs it up is a free download; you can make your own webservice in a few hours.

    blakey,


    is not free. take look
    here

    I dunno where you got that link. The US Post Office used to provide a free download of that database.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Nagesh said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    @Nagesh said:
    We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.

    The database that backs it up is a free download; you can make your own webservice in a few hours.

    blakey,


    is not free. take look
    here

    I dunno where you got that link. The US Post Office used to provide a free download of that database.

    trying hard but not able to google find it.



  • @Nagesh said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @Nagesh said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    @Nagesh said:
    We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.

    The database that backs it up is a free download; you can make your own webservice in a few hours.

    blakey,


    is not free. take look
    here

    I dunno where you got that link. The US Post Office used to provide a free download of that database.

    trying hard but not able to google find it.

     

    I think basic data about zipcodes (at least a simple "Zipcode" -> "City, State") is available for free, but if you want anything more than that (latitude/longitude, demographics, etc.) you need a third-party, which is almost always going to be either free and crappy/out of date or expensive yet accurate. I had to implement something a few years ago for someone and was also unable to find a free database with that kind of info.



  • @RHuckster said:

    @Nagesh said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @Nagesh said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    @Nagesh said:
    We are given one link from USPS post office site.

    That link is valdates all city / state / zip combos. Why is there no webservice, I fail to understand.

    The database that backs it up is a free download; you can make your own webservice in a few hours.

    blakey,


    is not free. take look
    here

    I dunno where you got that link. The US Post Office used to provide a free download of that database.

    trying hard but not able to google find it.

     

    I think basic data about zipcodes (at least a simple "Zipcode" -> "City, State") is available for free, but if you want anything more than that (latitude/longitude, demographics, etc.) you need a third-party, which is almost always going to be either free and crappy/out of date or expensive yet accurate. I had to implement something a few years ago for someone and was also unable to find a free database with that kind of info.

    where is basic data? i am not able to find anything for free. i am using webpage as last resort. i think i should call webpage and process bytes using jquery or something. at this time my brain is freezing and not working.

    my requirement is to find out speling mistake made by user in enter data. so i need base.



  • @Nagesh said:

    where is basic data? i am not able to find anything for free. i am using webpage as last resort. i think i should call webpage and process bytes using jquery or something. at this time my brain is freezing and not working.

    my requirement is to find out speling mistake made by user in enter data. so i need base.

    Here's a download of it (use the file zipcode.zip). I can't find the Government-provided CSV file, but I know it exists... here in the US, our government has figured out things like "search engine optimization."



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Nagesh said:

    where is basic data? i am not able to find anything for free. i am using webpage as last resort. i think i should call webpage and process bytes using jquery or something. at this time my brain is freezing and not working.

    my requirement is to find out speling mistake made by user in enter data. so i need base.

    Here's a download of it (use the file zipcode.zip). I can't find the Government-provided CSV file, but I know it exists... here in the US, our government has figured out things like "search engine optimization."

    Awsome. I like you blakeyrat! Thanks very much!!!



  • @Nagesh said:

    Awsome. I like you blakeyrat! Thanks very much!!!

    No problem.



  • @da Doctah said:

     Big whoop.  There's a state called Washington that's nowhere near the city called Washington.  Kansas City (the one people mean when they just say "Kansas City") isn't even in Kansas.  Oklahoma City is the biggest city in Oklahoma and the state capital to boot, but Arizona City is a wide spot in the road.  The following cities and towns (the official term at the USGS website is "populated place") really exist:

    • Wyoming, Delaware
    • Delaware, Virginia
    • Virginia, Washington
    • Washington, Utah
    • Utah, Tennessee
    • Tennessee, Texas
    • Texas, Georgia
    • Georgia, Kansas
    • Kansas, Ohio
    • Ohio, Colorado
    • Colorado, Alaska
    • Alaska, Michigan
    • Michigan, Vermont
    • Vermont, Wisconsin
    • Wisconsin, Kentucky
    • Kentucky, Arkansas
    • Arkansas, West Virginia
    • West Virginia, Minnesota
    • Minnesota, California
    • California, Maine
    • Maine, Arizona
    • Arizona, Nebraska
    • Nebraska, Indiana
    • Indiana, Iowa
    • Iowa, Pennsylvania
    • Pennsylvania, Alabama
    • Alabama, New York
    • New York, Florida
    • Florida, New Mexico
    • New Mexico, Maryland
    • Maryland, Louisiana
    • Louisiana, Missouri

    I did some research once at the USGS site and discovered that there are only three "populated places" in states of the same name.  "New York, New York" is a gimme; how long will it take to find the other two?

     

    A couple more: Florida, New York and (stretching it) Jersey Shore, Pennsylvannia.   

    Isn't there a Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas? 

    Another interesting situation is "The Little Town Too Big for One State" AKA Delmar, De. and Delmar, Md. Effectively one town that sits on the state line between DELaware and MARyland, hence the name.



  • @frits said:

    @da Doctah said:

     Big whoop.  There's a state called Washington that's nowhere near the city called Washington.  Kansas City (the one people mean when they just say "Kansas City") isn't even in Kansas.  Oklahoma City is the biggest city in Oklahoma and the state capital to boot, but Arizona City is a wide spot in the road.  The following cities and towns (the official term at the USGS website is "populated place") really exist:

    • Wyoming, Delaware
    • Delaware, Virginia
    • Virginia, Washington
    • Washington, Utah
    • Utah, Tennessee
    • Tennessee, Texas
    • Texas, Georgia
    • Georgia, Kansas
    • Kansas, Ohio
    • Ohio, Colorado
    • Colorado, Alaska
    • Alaska, Michigan
    • Michigan, Vermont
    • Vermont, Wisconsin
    • Wisconsin, Kentucky
    • Kentucky, Arkansas
    • Arkansas, West Virginia
    • West Virginia, Minnesota
    • Minnesota, California
    • California, Maine
    • Maine, Arizona
    • Arizona, Nebraska
    • Nebraska, Indiana
    • Indiana, Iowa
    • Iowa, Pennsylvania
    • Pennsylvania, Alabama
    • Alabama, New York
    • New York, Florida
    • Florida, New Mexico
    • New Mexico, Maryland
    • Maryland, Louisiana
    • Louisiana, Missouri

    I did some research once at the USGS site and discovered that there are only three "populated places" in states of the same name.  "New York, New York" is a gimme; how long will it take to find the other two?

     

    A couple more: Florida, New York and (stretching it) Jersey Shore, Pennsylvannia.   

    Isn't there a Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas? 

    Another interesting situation is "The Little Town Too Big for One State" AKA Delmar, De. and Delmar, Md. Effectively one town that sits on the state line between DELaware and MARyland, hence the name.

     

    That list is nearly unbelievable. Very dizzying.

    Btw, isn't "Delmar" a first name also ? Is there people named Delmar in Delmar ? And more importantly : is there one of them so utterly stupid and magnificent to have bought a house that sits on the state line itself ?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    I can't find the Government-provided CSV file, but I know it exists... here in the US, our government has figured out things like "search engine optimization."
    I think I know the dataset you're looking for. It's on the bloody Census website (because its "primary use" is to correlate census data to location), despite being USGS and USPS data.



  • @toshir0 said:

    And more importantly : is there one of them so utterly stupid and magnificent to have bought a house that sits on the state line itself ?

    Yes, I do believe "magnificent" is the right word here.



  • @Nagesh said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @Nagesh said:

    where is basic data? i am not able to find anything for free. i am using webpage as last resort. i think i should call webpage and process bytes using jquery or something. at this time my brain is freezing and not working.

    my requirement is to find out speling mistake made by user in enter data. so i need base.

    Here's a download of it (use the file zipcode.zip). I can't find the Government-provided CSV file, but I know it exists... here in the US, our government has figured out things like "search engine optimization."

    Awsome. I like you blakeyrat! Thanks very much!!!

    blakeyrat,
    this file helped lots and we built simple webservice utilizing contents of this file. but then admin not happy with hits,so we are now making usage of db querying to run verification process.
    customer is asked for new version of file with latest data on locations. once again, thanks very much.



  • @Nagesh said:

    blakeyrat,
    this file helped lots and we built simple webservice utilizing contents of this file. but then admin not happy with hits,so we are now making usage of db querying to run verification process.
    customer is asked for new version of file with latest data on locations. once again, thanks very much.

    Plz send the codes?

    I think if you want newer than that, you'll have to check Weng's lead in this thread and look for it on the Census site, or pay up some $$$ for it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     Apparently the Census gave up on zip codes (since they don't always break across any meaningful political boundary - there are a few that actually cross state lines, FFS). The Census instead uses what they call a ZCTA, which is USUALLY equal to the zip code, but in stupid places where the zip code is all f'd up, they used another number. The current version of that data is from 2000 and is here (the 2010 update is not published yet): 

    http://www.census.gov/geo/ZCTA/zcta.html

    The last time the Census directly published zip code information was in 1999: http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/zip1999.html and the last time they officially included it with their data was 1990.

     

    For any data newer than that, you need to purchase a copy of the information from an "authorized reseller listed on the USPS website" (quote from the USPS website. I'm yet to actually find that list)

     

     

    Frankly, your best bet might be a Google Maps Geocoding API call.



  • @Weng said:

     Apparently the Census gave up on zip codes (since they don't always break across any meaningful political boundary - there are a few that actually cross state lines, FFS). The Census instead uses what they call a ZCTA, which is USUALLY equal to the zip code, but in stupid places where the zip code is all f'd up, they used another number. The current version of that data is from 2000 and is here (the 2010 update is not published yet): 

    http://www.census.gov/geo/ZCTA/zcta.html

    The last time the Census directly published zip code information was in 1999: http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/zip1999.html and the last time they officially included it with their data was 1990.

     

    For any data newer than that, you need to purchase a copy of the information from an "authorized reseller listed on the USPS website" (quote from the USPS website. I'm yet to actually find that list)

     

     

    Frankly, your best bet might be a Google Maps Geocoding API call.

    Let me make requirement clear to everyone

    Client having customer database with lots of speling mistake for location names like city. So client want to perform cleanup activity. I writing code to find invalid city names. So I need reference list. Now it is done. So all remaining work of deployin is lying on sholder of my collegue who is in California.



  • @Nagesh said:

    Let me make requirement clear to everyone

    Client having customer database with lots of speling mistake for location names like city. So client want to perform cleanup activity. I writing code to find invalid city names.
    So I need reference list. Now it is done. So all remaining work of deployin is lying on sholder of my collegue who is in California.

    No, sorry, that's not adequate. We're going to continue to tell you how you should have done it. Your actual needs don't really factor into it.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Nagesh said:
    Let me make requirement clear to everyone

    Client having customer database with lots of speling mistake for location names like city. So client want to perform cleanup activity. I writing code to find invalid city names.
    So I need reference list. Now it is done. So all remaining work of deployin is lying on sholder of my collegue who is in California.

    No, sorry, that's not adequate. We're going to continue to tell you how you should have done it. Your actual needs don't really factor into it.

    I like it better when the requirements are vague, because that way I can bloviate about something completely unrelated.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Nagesh said:
    Let me make requirement clear to everyone

    Client having customer database with lots of speling mistake for location names like city. So client want to perform cleanup activity. I writing code to find invalid city names.
    So I need reference list. Now it is done. So all remaining work of deployin is lying on sholder of my collegue who is in California.

    No, sorry, that's not adequate. We're going to continue to tell you how you should have done it. Your actual needs don't really factor into it.

    <font size="6">

    Why??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    </font>


  • @Nagesh said:

    <font size="6">

    Why??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    </font>
    Derailed threads are what we're all about. Also, pedantic dickweedery.


  • @Nagesh said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @Nagesh said:
    Let me make requirement clear to everyone

    Client having customer database with lots of speling mistake for location names like city. So client want to perform cleanup activity. I writing code to find invalid city names.
    So I need reference list. Now it is done. So all remaining work of deployin is lying on sholder of my collegue who is in California.

    No, sorry, that's not adequate. We're going to continue to tell you how you should have done it. Your actual needs don't really factor into it.

    <font size="6">

    Why??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    </font>

    Whoa, we blew his mind.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Derailed threads are what we're all about. Also, pedantic dickweedery.
    Without pedantic dickweedery the Internet wouldn't exist.

     


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