Re: Parsing postal addresses

"W. Craig Trader" <>
26 Oct 1997 22:08:03 -0500

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From: "W. Craig Trader" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 26 Oct 1997 22:08:03 -0500
Organization: The MITRE Corporation
References: 97-10-067 97-10-102
Keywords: parse

Alex Colvin wrote:
> typically you parse a US street address into
> house number, pre-directional, street name, street type, post directional city, state, zip zip4
> with optional apartment numbers and a wide set of abbrevioations.
> The classic example is 123 E E E St. = 123E East E Street.

Even this isn't enough to deal with Washington DC, where all
directions are relative to the capital, and any given street
address can be present in up to 4 quadrants:

123E E St, NW
123E E St, NE
123E E St, SE
123E E St, SW

Of course the avenues are spokes and are typically present
in only 1 or 2 quadrants:

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NE

To make matters worse, typically the first three digits of a
Zip code are common to a single state, but DC shares 201xx
with several towns in Virginia which used to be in 220xx;
lots of software packages used to partition addresses based
upon the first 3 digits of the zip code (and UPS used to
bill based upon them) which generally results in misdirected
mail, etc. Enjoy...

W. Craig Trader, Senior Internet Engineer <>

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