Mastering address complexity in a simpler way

Your address is everything.

Tue Nov 20 13:16:00 EST 2018

Think about your home address.  Where you live defines a lot in your life, and it is part of what makes you you.  Your address determines the school your children attend, which municipalities’ regulations you must follow, and how your mail is delivered.  On a larger scale, your address determines what commercials you see on television, the time zone you structure your life within, and who represents you in Congress.

Your home address is also part of a hierarchy of boundaries that is complex and far-reaching.  From the nationwide level down to the census block, you address is part of a larger set of boundaries that influence your activities, and businesses across multiple industries use these boundaries to better understand customers.

For example, social media companies use boundaries to aggregate user activity; real estate companies use them to research investments; and retailers use them for marketing and territory design purposes.  The utilities and telco industries use boundaries to plan and administer service, while insurance companies incorporate boundary data into their underwriting processes.

Boundaries are inherently geographic. They are geometric delineations of areas for administrative and commercial purposes, and so it makes sense that the traditional way of analyzing boundary data is within Geographic Information Systems.  To understand the boundary that an address falls within, you simply geocode your addresses and add in a boundary layer to perform a point-in-polygon analysis. But this can quickly become cumbersome when processing large amounts of data. In such large quantities, point-in-polygon processing becomes a major endeavor.

To expedite this process, Pitney Bowes has developed an index of every addressable location in the United States and the hierarchy of boundaries they fall within.  The GeoEnrichment Boundaries Lookup provides a text file of addresses using our unique and persistent identifier, the pbKey™, associated to the identifying codes and names of nearly 20 different boundaries those addresses fall within.  This eliminates the need for spatial processing and dramatically reduces the time required to conduct boundary analyses.

As part of our pbKey network, the GeoEnrichment Boundaries Lookup also enables users to associate an address and its boundary information to risk, demographic, and property attribute data.  This allows users to lookup an address and retrieve information, such as crime, fire, or flood risk, as well as mortgage information and building details.  Information related to median household income, age, or purchasing power for the census block group an address falls within are also easily found without spatial processing.

When combined with boundary data, these variables provide a composite view of an address that can be utilized in a variety of use cases across industries, all without spatial processing.  Searching for specific addresses and finding the boundaries they fall within, as well as searching boundaries and identifying addresses within them, can help users in just about any industry better understand and reach their customers.

The following boundaries are associated to an address in the GeoEnrichment Boundaries Lookup:

  • Census Blocks
  • Subneighborhoods
  • Neighborhoods
  • Residential Neighborhoods
  • Macroneighborhoods
  • Census Designated Places
  • School Attendance Zones
  • School Districts
  • Universities
  • Carrier Routes
  • Minor Civil Divisions
  • Metro Areas
  • Designated Market Areas
  • Core Based Statistical Areas
  • Congressional Districts
  • Counties
  • States
  • Countries
  • Time Zones

When you think about it, your address is everything. Therefore, it’s imperative organizations have easy access to boundary information, without the hassle. The Pitney Bowes GeoEnrichment Boundaries Lookup removes the complexity of getting and using this information for actionable insights.

Interested in learning more?  Get access to the Pitney Bowes Software & Data Marketplace, to search for and download data samples, visualize the data on map, and more.

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