jasonh300 wrote:Your best resource is an interactive GIS map that has City and Census Designated Places (CDP) layers. Government issued maps are always going to be the most accurate, and legal to use as a source. Google, Bing and Mapquest are copyrighted and not valid sources.
In some places, nobody uses those CDP names, and they really shouldn't be on the map, but they're still going to show the error bubbles if you remove them.
Forget Zip Code maps. The USPS has consolidated so many towns and small cities into the nearest large city, they'll be useless.
Most of these that I've seen were caused by people adding city names outside of the city limits, where the No City box should be checked.
I understand what you are saying. I was using Mapquest and Google for reference only and not using them as a source (which is legal) to illustrate the issue.
While government issued maps may be the most "accurate", I am pretty sure that few people use them as an address for navigation routing. Most people look at their mailing address as their official address and that is where ZIP codes come in. On Long Island, NY there has been no zip code consolidation that I am aware of.
In the northeast USA, the legal concept of cities, towns and counties is VERY different from that of the rest of the country. In any case Hamlets (the "city" example I gave) as a legal entity do not exist and so different governmental agencies carve them up for their own convenience and have their own GIS boundaries for hamlets.
On Long Island, NY their are MANY governmental organizations sometimes completely independent of each other: the town tax departments, town highway departments, the fire districts, the school districts, the power authority, the water authority the election commissions ALL have completely different GIS systems with their own hamlet boundaries that is different from the ZIP codes boundaries and CDP boundaries and rarely do they every match.
Therefore my suggestion is to use zip code maps as that is an address a normal mortal human can hope to keep track of (or they wont get mail).