[ic] Chapman codes

Lyn St George lyn at zolotek.net
Sat Aug 7 07:54:24 EDT 2004

On Fri, 6 Aug 2004 00:28:53 -0400, Mike Heins wrote:

>I have tried hard over the years to make Interchange at least somewhat
>friendly to non-US users and consumers.
>Nonetheless, it is common for we Americans to get bashed for being
>insensitive to the geography of other countries. Perhaps deservedly
>so in some cases, but I believe we are handicapped by the lack of
>standard convention on postal codes. Try and find an authoritative
>list of states/provinces, and see what you find.

In fact, Mike, you have made a real effort despite the opinions of a very small 
minority of vocal complainants. 

>Probably the most common complaints are about the choices we made
>for the UK, and over time I have added numerous counties/regions/provinces
>(though I am far from sure of the distinction).

Politics - nothing to do with common sense :/ One thing though;  the
three capitals - London for England, Edinburgh for Scotland and
Cardiff for Wales - exist independently of the county/shire system, ie
the "state" field should be empty. (I just add an empty/ 'n/a' line to

>I recently ran across the Chapman codes which are usually related to
>geneology, and wonder if this type of abbreviation is accepted for
>addressing. Looking at the Royal Mail specs, it seems that it isn't
>even necessary to have a county/region/province name, just the
>town and postal code suffices.
>Should we 
>	1) Use Chapman codes
>        2) Put in a mechanism to totally remove the state/province for
>           certain countries, based on some data in the country table

These codes are new to me, but I wouldn't use them for addressing
postal mail and I've never them used for this. And it's correct that
the region is not needed - the house number and postcode give
enough information (not even the town or street are needed, and
if you give a computerised lookup system your postcode then they
only ask for your house number to get the final address).

>Does anyone with some real knowledge know what is best?
>I guess this query is not only for the UK but for other countries. For
>instance, I have a very nice list of Norwegian locales that could be
>used, but is that even appropriate?

In my home country of New Zealand we have postal codes but almost
never use them - just the suburb+town, or town+province is enough.
Australia is different again - eg, if you live in the suburb of Concord in
Sydney in the state of New South Wales, then the post office is very 
adamant that you do *not* put Sydney on the address. They say it 
should be suburb+ state+ postcode.

At the end of the day, it seems to me that the range of possible 
variations is simply too large to try to second-guess. If people who
live in different parts of the world and have sorted out their local
system were to send you their personal lists for 'state.txt', then I would
suggest that you could include them along with a note to the effect
that "this requires local knowledge - edit to suit". 

>Mike Heins
>Perusion -- Expert Interchange Consulting    http://www.perusion.com/
>phone +1.765.647.1295  tollfree 800-949-1889 <mike at perusion.com>


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