Months ago EMR promised Larry Gross a response on the issue of Zip Codes as a source of information. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 35 in PART TEN of TRILO-G:
Data from Postal Zip Codes provides an excellent example of what is wrong with current data resources. This post might be labeled “More on the Problems of Zip Cones.” Readers can find 21 references in The Shape of the Future to the problems caused by Zip Cones when one is trying to understand human settlement pattern.
Zip Code data is “interesting” BUT…
Recently a person who comments often on the Bacons Rebellion Blog emailed the author information on a web site that he assumed would help answer settlement pattern questions: ZipWho.com.
The site is a useful one. However, just one example – that was typical of several trial comparisons by the author – documents the pitfalls of Zip Code data.
…….. the example is included as the first comment on this post ………
If one understands human settlement patterns and has other sources of information as well as accurate maps, the ZipWho.com data can be useful. Without this understanding and additional information, the data is at best deceptive.
As noted in The Shape of the Future, Zip Codes are NOT organic components of human settlement. They vary widely in size and the configurations reflect the distribution of power among appointed Postmasters when Zip Codes were established and when they are revised.