I'm looking at the Postal address table in Esri's Canadian Municipal Data Model. There are some fields in there I don't understand, and wondered if anyone could help me out.

The fields are:

  • INTSTATE (String 5) The international state abbreviation
  • INTPSTLCD (String 10) The international postal code
  • PSTLSTATE (String 2) The two digit state abbreviation
  • PSTZIP5 (String 5) The postal zip 5
  • PSTZIP4 (String 4) The postal zip + 4

Given that this is a Canadian model (and I already have fields for Province) I'm assuming "state" means "country"? Or not? And what is the International Postal Code (which I've googled w/o finding)

The data is all in the city of Vancouver, BC.

  • Like, if a zip code is uniquely US, why would a Canadian model include fields for them? – Mark Ireland Nov 27 '14 at 17:50

I believe the only reason for fields in US format is for the Address Locator Style in ArcGIS for Creating an Address Locator (for Geocoding) (without designing your own Canadian Address Locator)

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I think Mapperz is right about PSTLSTATE, PSTZIP5, and PSTZIP4 being there to create an address locator.

I'll just add that I did some research and believe that INTSTATE is the country code, for example Canada is CA. I think the reason it's 5 characters in length is that you can get extensions like US-VI for the US Virgin Islands. Apparently it's the ISO 3166-2 standard.

INTPSTLCD appears to be (I think) a combination of country code and postal code. According to this document from the Universal Postal Union (who knew?!):

Administrations may recommend that, on items addressed to countries where the recommended position of the postcode is in front of the name of the location of destination, the postcode should be preceded by the EN ISO 3166–1 Alpha 2 country code followed by a hyphen. This shall in no way detract from the requirement for the name of the destination country to be printed in full

So an international postcode to a Canadian address could be CA-V3W1J8 (except only a few countries use the system, and Canada isn't one of them).

I also found out that Ireland has no system of postcodes, and the longest postal codes in the world are the US and Iranian systems (both up to 10 digits). Which isn't really relevant but is fascinating!

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