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Map nerds rejoice!

benk928

Cyburbian
Messages
31
Points
2
http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/fry/zipdecode/

This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. If anyone has ever wondered how the ZIP code system works geographically, this is the way to learn about it. Supremely interesting.

I've always had a fascination with ZIP codes since I grew up in one of the best ones in the whole country: 23456. Only Schenectady, NY can beat it.

-Ben
 

jsk1983

Cyburbian
Messages
2,478
Points
24
My zip code, 14221, Williamsville, NY (outside of Buffalo), but containing parts of the towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Lancaster has its own bumper sticker. Its a white oval with 14221 printed on it and Williamsville, NY underneath in smaller lettering. It is much like the stickers that say "OBX" (Outer Banks, NC) or VT (Vermont) which I believe are called "euros". Has anybody ever seen one for another zip code?
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Very useful map, especially as we do some analysis on out of state property ownership in our county.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
That was really neat, especially with the zoom feature installed.
I like my sister-in-law's old zip: 01776 for Sudbury, Mass. :-0
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
What would be even cooler is if you could pull up pictures along with the zip code of the city or town.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I found a bug in Chicago

60601, 60602, 60604, 60605, 60606, 60608 and 60609 all map to the exact same point.
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
I'd like to know a little more about the logic though. Once you get past the first 3 numbers it does seem pretty random. It's not related to date of incorporation or geography, or at least not as far as I can tell... the last two digits are a mystery to me.
 

benk928

Cyburbian
Messages
31
Points
2
what I've been able to deduce

Well, in some cases, the digits seem to be based on a dominant city in the region. 10001 is New York City, 20001 is Washington, DC, 300XX are around Atlanta, 600XX are around Chicago, 70001 is near New Orleans, 80001 is a suburb of Denver, and 90001 is Los Angeles. But 40003 is Bagdad, Kentucky and 50001 is Ackworth, Iowa.

It seems to me that some of these are probably the results of "redistricting" the ZIP codes according to new development as they become necessary. My current ZIP is 23185, Williamsburg, VA. But the 231XX prefix covers a huge geographic area that doesn't make much sense. In contrast, the 2345X area is only Virginia Beach, 235XX only Norfolk, 236XX only Newport News, etc.

Does it seem strange to anyone else that New Jersey is a "0" state along with New England while New York and Pennsylvania are "1" states? Just little things I've noticed.

-Ben
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
jordanb said:
60601, 60602, 60604, 60605, 60606, 60608 and 60609 all map to the exact same point.
I suppose that it depends on the resolution, these Zip Codes are all in downtown Chicago and although I don't have a map handy, one or two of them likely cover no more than ONE BLOCK of land area (what is the Sears Tower's Zip Code and is it unique to the building? Also, while it was still in existance, 1 and 2 World Trade Center in NYC was all that was 10048).

There is one Zip Code here in Appleton, WI that is for only one building, too. All mail going to Thrivent Financial Services (formerly Aid Association for Lutherans fraternal insurance) is 54919. Also, 54912 covers all of Appleton's PO Boxes and nothing else.

Mike
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,802
Points
61
Don't type in complete zip code.
Interesting mapping sequence by typing in each number in
then seeing the resulting increased zoom in. :cool:
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
I lived in 077** for most of my life which is the northern 1/4 of the Jersey Shore.
The distribution of the last two digits might seem random, the numbers are rarely near each other but with maybe one or two exceptions (recent additions) it's alphabetical.

Oakhurst
07755

Ocean Grove
07756

Oceanport
07757


I think the reason New Jersey is a 0 and not a 1 has more to do with how far west New York State goes. It was probably easier to make the state all a 1 then divide it somewhere around Utica. On the same token there were prob. plenty of 0 left and not much 1.

Why didn't they do this for area codes?
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
jresta said:
Why didn't they do this for area codes?
Area codes were originally assigned with speed of dial in mind on rotary phones. Since NYC got the most calls, it got 212, the quickest number you can dial on a rotary. LA got 213, almost as quick. Chicago got 312. Codes X1X were portions of states, while X0X were codes that covered entire states. Over the years more and more codes were added and modified, so today it obviously doesn't follow that logic at all. But imagine how much of a pain it'd be to keep dialing people with 909 area codes on a rotary phone?
 
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