WSRB provides advice on how to use ZIP codes to help get the right data

When I used to work as GIS Mapping Supervisor for the East Bay Municipal Utility District in California, I would be surprised when a homeowner would pay thousands of dollars to have a fire hydrant installed close to their property. What they were doing was to ensure that their home could be better protected against fire hazards, and also to help lower their fire insurance costs.

Chris Jansen is the Geospatial Information Architect for the Washington Surveying & Rating Bureau (WSRB). WSRB is an independent, not-for-profit, public service organization serving the property and casualty insurers and citizens of Washington state. WSRB evaluates all Washington communities for their fire protection/suppression capabilities.

In this WSRB Blog article, “To Get the Right Data Start in the Right Place,” Chris explains the hazards of getting an incorrect address-ZIP code pairing from many common data sources. Chris provides good advice and the rationale for using the USPS ZIP code address validation tool. Basing valid street addresses on source data from your county assessor and 911 office is key!

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