What Is Zip Code? ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) Code Established in 1963, in the US the system of 5-digit codes that identifies the individual post office or metropolitan area delivery station associated with an address. The term ZIP code was originally registered as a servicemark (a type of trademark) by the U.S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired. In many countries, the equivalent of a United States zipcode is named postal code. A sequence of numbers and/or letters near the end of an address, which provides some guidance in sorting the mail. For example, Canadian postcodes such as H3Z 2Y7 and T0L 1K0 include both numbers and letters. Some countries such as Great Britain even have variable length postcodes, for example A1 2BC or KL8M 9N. A good zip code locator software can distinguish these types of international postcodes to quickly understand what is required. The History Of ZIP Code Zipcodes set a milestone in mail history. The US Post Office Department in 1930 moved the bulk of the US domestic mail by rail, despite the growing transport accessibility offered by the airlines. Tens thousand mail-carrying trains crisscrossed the country, moving round the clock into every metropolitan area and smallest village. Imagine the distribution ovehaul for the major railroad hubs of the country. Years from 1930s to 1960s are remarkable for many great changes for the United States. By 1963, fewer trains, making fewer stops, carried the mail. The character, volume, and routes of mail changed as well. More and more business oriented mail functons were required - by 1963, business mail constituted 80 percent of the total volume. This time also coincide with the penetration of computers, which brought a growing mass of utility bills and payments, bank deposits and receipts, insurance premiums, advertisements, magazines, credit card transactions, department store and mortgage billings, and payments, dividends, and Social Security checks traveling through the mail. At that time is was becoming evident that apart of generating so much new types of mail, computers can be also used to sort these envelopes, too, by means of first generation zip code locator software. ZIP stands for Zoning Improvement Plan which began on July 1, 1963 as a solution to the explosive growth of business mail. The Post Office didn't require anyone to use the new postal code system at the beginning, but in 1967, the Post Office required mailers of second-class and third-class mail to presort by ZIP Code. ZIP code should be properly written in capital letters and it was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently, and therefore more quickly, when senders use the code in the postal address. By July 1963, a five-digit code had been assigned to every address throughout the country. The first digit designated a broad geographical area of the United States, ranging from zero for the Northeast to nine for the far West. This was followed by two digits that more closely pinpointed population concentrations and those sectional centers accessible to common transportation networks. The final two digits designated small post offices or postal zones in larger zoned cities. ZIP Code Locator Software Even though snail mail has taken a backseat to electronic mail, we still need to communicate and stay in touch via the conventional mailing system, and will continue to put zipcodes to good use. Think about that the next time you send grandma a birthday card or need to have a package delivered to a remote area in Iowa. Imagine a website visitor looking for a service station for his Ford truck somewhere in Texas? Everyone knows one's zipcode or postal code nowdays, so it is a good start for a search. A ZIP code's address and the city name written on the same line do not necessarily mean that that address is within that city. The Postal Service designates a single default place name for each zipcode. For better search, there exists a database of zip codes and geo coordinates. Geo coordinates explicitely difine an exact place on Earth, so given two ZIP codes, a smart piece of software can calculate the distance and give you nearest stores, shops, stations, whatever you may fancy looking for. Many zip code search software products feature advanced algorithms and innovative approach to processing massive databases quickly and efficiently. This article on zip code locator software has been written for store locator software website by Judy Sanchez, a qualified general researcher specializing in many topics sharing her findings to help people make informed decisions.