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I am looking at APIs to get location information from ZIP codes. So far the most detailed level of location I could get was Country --> State --> City.

Does ZIP code also map to neighborhood / districts ?

I have seen some APIs that return lng lat coordinates for zip code, I guess I could geo-code the coord to find out the more specific area, but I don't know how fine grained it is

  • There is irregular coverage. Are you only interested in a particular area (say just one country)? Are you an American by chance? – BradHards Feb 26 '15 at 10:29
  • I am interested only in US and also mainly big metropolitan areas (NYC, SF etc) – Michael Feb 26 '15 at 10:55
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    This issue has been addressed repeatedly. Zipcodes are a linear phenomena (mail delivery routes), and therefore have no set area. – Vince Feb 26 '15 at 12:18
  • @Vince I see, I guess that's why I haven't seen any service that offer this translation to area – Michael Feb 26 '15 at 12:44
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    It's entirely possible for a zip code to specify a building. A zip code can also specify an entire town. As Vince said, they're not actually areas, they're delivery routes, so the level of detail depends on which zip code. They have a quasi-correspondence to areas, and are often used as such (note BradHards' suggestion of [properly] zip tabulation area shapefiles). The API returning a lat/lon for a zip is either giving the centroid of such a shape or possibly a coordinate that has minimal precision and happens to fall within that shape. – Chris W Feb 26 '15 at 22:09

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