Forum talk:Federal States/Postal services

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This portion of the forum entry is archived, including the initial discussion and the official vote.

Item 1: Post office name

There are a lot of different options that are out there right now. Proposals are welcome. Discuss this item in the designated area below.

  • Main organization: Federal Postal Service; branch offices: Federal Post Office
  • Main organization: Federal States Couriers; branch offices: Courier Office
  • Main organization: Federal States Postal Bureau; branch offices: Federal States Post Office

Discussion 1

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I guess the only thought I'd note (and that I'd acted upon back when I was mapping more heavily in the FSA) is that theoretically, "post office" (or mail office or something I guess) would still be an accurate descriptor of a branch/location regardless of the name of the postal service that runs it- so the service name and the location name need not match exactly unless you want to go for like really specific branding. Feel free to come to a different consensus among active/current members though. --Ernestpkirby (talk) 15:06, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
There's definitely a benefit in making the Post Office term the norm, since I imagine we have a lot of post offices tagged as such already.--Fluffr Nuttr (talk) 22:28, 5 July 2022 (UTC)
The official tag is amenity=post_office, so at least for the local branches we may want to keep in simple with "Federal Post Office" or "Federal States Post Office". We can get creative with the larger name of the agency, however. --TheMayor (talk) 19:48, 11 July 2022 (UTC)

Item 2: Postal codes

A note about how postal codes work in the United States

Most people may not realize that ZIP codes in the US have very specific meanings in the nine (yes, nine) digits. Our US-based users will recognize the five digits of the main postal code, established between World War II and 1963. The first digit is a region of the country. The second and third digit define sectional facilities for sorting mail. The fourth and fifth numbers are effectively municipal-level but were outlined based on where post offices were, how delivery could be done from those locations, and even landuse to a degree. There are a surprising number of benefits to having "zones" that are different from municipal boundaries. Some might argue that having it down to a specific block or building is better for sorting, but this ignores the other benefits of having zones. To help with sorting in the early 1980s, the USPS introduced four more digits (called a +4) that are optional for most commonplace deliveries but were designed to help with sorting and route marking. Digits six and seven narrow things down to a group of blocks or a specific office building if big enough. The last two digits identify specific buildings or even individual occupied spaces in buildings. By the early 1990s, however, the +4 never really caught on and were no longer needed with new sorting technologies that made life easier for postal workers.


There has already been some preliminary discussion about this before, and a lot of users have expressed desire to begin any postal code with a state-defining designation. If you have additional proposals, please add them in the discussion below instead of directly to this list.

In the proposed codes, A = assigned letters; NN = state ogf:id number; CC = two-letter state code; X = letter or numbers; Z = numbers
  • Proposal 1: NNAAZZ (two letters and last two numbers defined by state owners) N.B.: Consolidated into proposal 2)
  • Proposal 2: NNXXZZ or NN-XXZZ (last four defined by state owners)
  • Proposal 3: CCZZXX or CC-ZZXX (last four defined by state owners, where last two digits could be replaced by letters)

Discussion 2

The discussion period is now closed. To view the discussion, click "expand" at right.

Personally, I strongly prefer proposal three for the postal codes. Numbers keep things simple, easy to read, and create a clearly defined "space" for numbers that isn't confused by an average citizen (e.g. 135 North Grissom Street, Egmont ME-2975). Proposal two looks too wonky to me (e.g. 135 North Grissom Street, Egmont 43-2975). It creates a redundant system of state postal code letters and postal code numbers. If we go with this, I strongly support phasing out the two-letter postal codes and allow states to use whatever abbreviations they want for other things. A state like Cosperica could use Cos. (or whatever) instead of being forced into CO. A state would just be defined for postal codes by the first two numbers. Anything else on the address could be full state name or any other unregulated abbreviation. Just my thoughts on this one. — Alessa (talk) 04:38, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
My only concern with the CC-#### structure is that each state is restricted to 10,000 individual postal codes, and while that would be more than sufficient for most states, we could run the risk of running short on codes for large states like Cosperica or Alormen, or for densely-populated states like New Carnaby. I’d support a CC-##XX structure where “CC” is the state abbreviation, “##” is a routing number (up to each state), and “XX” can be numbers or letters, which provides a much larger universe of total postal codes for each state (or city) without requiring a totally new scheme. —TheMayor (talk) 14:11, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
That's brilliant. I actually really like that, and it follows how distribution would work in the real world very well. I've updated proposal three to reflect this potential. That would allow a huge variety of things and even work well in rural areas. For example, all of Missisaukee County, Mennowa could use 29 (routing number) and then 7x. The entire county isn't heavily populated, so it could easily be handled by a single set of codes from -2970 through -297Y. I would suggest that we discourage (rather than mandate) use of I, O, Q, S, or Z in there to prevent confusion with numbers. — Alessa (talk) 14:21, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
Yep, I agree, that'd be a good system to use, and still provides each stateowner with plenty of flexibility to divvy things up as they like. --TheMayor (talk) 17:35, 4 July 2022 (UTC)


Initiative 1: Post office name

Please choose one (1) of the following options for name of postal offices

Federal Post Office

Federal States Post Office

  1. -TheMayor (talk) 18:04, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  2. -Glauber (talk) 18:56, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  3. -Ruadh (talk) 19:46, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  4. Alessa (talk) 21:10, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  5. -Icefur2 (talk) 22:29, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  6. Aces California (talk) 11:47, 3 August 2022 (UTC)
  7. --Mapping Expert (talk) 22:54, 6 August 2022 (UTC)
  8. Unsigned comment by ItsTybear (talk).
  9. ~ Canada LaVearn (talk) 21:10, 13 August 2022 (UTC)
  10. --Fluffr Nuttr (talk) 18:38, 14 August 2022 (UTC)

Courier Office

Initiative 2: Postal codes

Please choose one (1) of the following options for structure of postal codes. For all codes, CC = two-letter state code; NN = state ogf:id number; X = letter or numbers; # = numbers only.


  1. -TheMayor (talk) 18:04, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  2. -Glauber (talk) 18:56, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  3. -Ruadh (talk) 19:46, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  4. Alessa (talk) 21:10, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  5. -Icefur2 (talk) 22:29, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
  6. Aces California (talk) 11:47, 3 August 2022 (UTC)
  7. --Mapping Expert (talk) 22:55, 6 August 2022 (UTC)
  8. Unsigned comment by ItsTybear (talk).
  9. --Fluffr Nuttr (talk) 18:39, 14 August 2022 (UTC)


  1. ~ Canada LaVearn (talk) 21:10, 13 August 2022 (UTC)