Piecing Together The Address Puzzle
n Quick history
n Where we are today
n Attribute Extraction
Have You Ever Seen These Symptoms?
n Systems that collect similar information but cannot
communicate with each other
n Screens that are designed to collect a specific type
of data without consideration of all the differences within that type of data
n The address information collected exceeds the space
available on the output medium
Poorly Designed Data Collection
Attention name: Mr. Abdula Hasim
Company name: International Communication Sdn. Bhd
Address line 1 :
Address line 2 : Lot
10, 9/5 Jalan Paku
Will the Address Fit?
Family Jewelry Ltd
Cottage on the Thames
South Wuthering Heights Road
Addresses have historically been collected
in strung address lines as presented by the addressee or their
When entered into the database in this
fashion it is hard to analyze the data and it permits little control or
intelligence in the presentation.
What is the Relationship?
One wouldn’t set out to build a database
without identifying the contents of the rows and columns, yet, most address
information is entered without knowing
what parts of an address will be in which column. This is especially important with
international addresses where the address formats and languages may be
Parsing is the Answer
By breaking the address components down to
their lowest logical level you can build an intelligent database.
But how do you put the addresses back
Templates for Reassembly
Templates outline where the address elements
should be placed to rebuild the address.
Data Interchange Standards Association
In 1996 the USPS began working with industry leaders and the Data
Interchange Standards Association on an EDI standard (TS-101) for domestic name
and address lists.
The USPS and mailing industry leaders began
work on the international address standard, PROLST, in 1999.
We presented our work for the first time at
the UN/EDIFACT meeting in March 2000 at the Paris EDIFACT Work Group (EWG)
PROLST gains MID status
PROLST was approved as a UN/EDIFACT Message
In Development (MID) in March 2000.
PROLST Status Today
The Electronic Commerce Code Management
Association (ECCMA) - International
Address Element Code (IAEC) tables used by PROLST have been propagated with all
the US domestic, and some international, elements.
The eight templates identified for USPS
addresses are outlined in the White Paper published on the ECCMA web site.
Universal Postal Union Efforts
January 2001 the USPS and Joe Lubenow
representing the GCA and the UPU-DMAB joined forces, prepared and presented
documents for two standards proposals (Status P) for the UPU. The purpose of these proposals was to:
EDI and XML messages
Where We Are Today
n The International Address Work Group has officially
met twice in 2001 and will meet again in conjunction with the UPU standards
board meeting in January 2002. The group
includes major mailers, domestic and international address software companies,
and representatives from the UPU and a number of Posts.
Sample of the IAEC Element Entries
SQID CLASS COMPONENT TITLES
000 Physical Address Component
002 House number
013 10 009 Street name
000 Name Component
046 11 002 Primary honorific
047 11 003 Primary given name
048 11 004 Primary first middle name
049 11 005 Primary second middle name
050 11 006 Primary family name
Sample Address Template
Sample Tagged Data
XML Implementation Example
n <!ELEMENT house.number (#PCDATA)>
n <!ATTLIST house.number
n code (6)
n <!ELEMENT prefix.street.direction (#PCDATA)>
n <!ATTLIST prefix.street.direction
n code (142)
n <!ELEMENT street.name (#PCDATA)>
n <!ATTLIST street.name
n code (13)
The Next Step
As international address element and
template information is gathered by the UPU this information will be added to
the ECCMA - IAEC tables. Eventually, we
hope that this work will reflect the addresses of all of the world Posts.
Many thanks are owed to Alan Morse of
Triplex Direct Marketing, Peter Benson of Resolvenet, Frank Montague of R.R. Donnelley, Joe Lubenow of Lubenow and Associates, Noel
Wickham of Experian, Phil Thompson of Quad/Graphics, the GCA ADIS subcommittee,
the folks from DISA, the United Nations/EDIFACT Work Group Purchasing
Subcommittee and the UPU standards board.