The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 April 2005

Delocator has location issues

Plastic Noodle takes exception to the methodology at Delocator, as mentioned here yesterday:

Instead of relying on an address check, it's looking for zip codes which are numerically near by. This doesn't work, at least in Atlanta. I was getting results for Alpharetta, GA (30022) in Duluth, GA (30030), nearly 30 miles away. For future reference, zip codes are added to areas as they grow larger, and don't necessarily indicate proximity. In fact, in large metro areas, zip codes almost never are close together. I'd say that's a bigger problem than any chilling effect.

Naturally, I had to try this out for myself, and so I keyed 73026, a ZIP in east Norman. Delocator coughed up no Norman locations, but did manage to snag Java Dave's in downtown Edmond (73034), two Starbucks in Edmond, and one in the Super Target at NW 140th and Pennsylvania.

So a tip of the cup (careful, don't spill it) to Plastic Noodle, and take anything you derive from Delocator with a grain of, um, non-dairy creamer.

Posted at 7:22 AM to Almost Yogurt


When initially allocated in their respective regions, ZIP codes are assigned alphabetically. So towns named East Endover and East Endoscopy may have sequential ZIP codes, but could be at opposite ends of the region.

Then, as new ZIP codes get added -- as Noodle points out -- all bets are off.

In Sacramento, in fact, you get ZIP codes starting with 956 and 958 from the original allocation -- followed by some 957's. But at the State Capitol you get ZIP codes starting with 942 and the like.

If there's a Starbucks near the Capitol, legislative aides could be out of luck, big time.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:47 AM on 7 April 2005

Hey, I love Starbucks. Thanks to Delocator I found out about 3 Starbucks I did not know about. Thanks Delocator!

Posted by: Steven Roemerman at 9:55 AM on 7 April 2005

Yeah, the 942 range was originally reserved for San Francisco (941), but they never needed it.

Southwest Georgia has some 398 numbers reallocated from Mississippi.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:31 AM on 7 April 2005