I am working on a project where users fill out an online form with address information and a Google Map centered at that address is displayed. It works fine for traditional addresses (e.g. 123 Main Street, New York, NY) but I have no idea where to start with geocoding rural information.

How can I get map information for rural routes, preferably via Google Maps? In my form, a user enters a rural route descriptor, a rural route number, a box number, a city, a state, and a zip code.

  • 1
    Rural routes further exemplify the zip codes aren't areas issue. A rural route is literally just that, a route that can cover many streets and roads, and can be changed at any time by the postal service. They're going away in response to emergency services needs (911 location). You would need a dataset/locator/geocoder that can translate the current postal route to an actual location (often something like 4500 West County Road 300 North). Some services can do this and have that data - but they've got to be getting it from or checking against something from USPS, or have built it on their own.
    – Chris W
    Jun 11, 2015 at 23:14
  • Does Google have that information, and if not, are there other free resources where I can get it? Jun 12, 2015 at 2:25
  • No idea. I used to live at a RR but they converted us to street when I was still in high school. All the counties around here that I have quick access to address data for are also already converted. I just don't have a valid one to try. Type one into Google Maps and test it? I'm pretty sure putting it into USPS's mapper would find it too. But in both cases I don't think you can bulk geocode for free. I'm not aware of any free sources for RR info and haven't had to deal with it, but I do see a few commercial solutions (like SmartyStreets) specifically mention the ability.
    – Chris W
    Jun 12, 2015 at 3:47

1 Answer 1


try wikimapia. you can search by rural route number, city name, postal code etc. If someone has put any of this info on wikimapia, you can get coordinate from there. you can import wikimapia info into google earth by a simple utility tool (ge.kml) which you can download for free from www.wikimapia.org/ge.kml. Open ge.kml in google earth where you can pan fast for reference but cannot search, can search only in wikimapia. all the best

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