Identify Postal Codes and Zip Codes with Open API

In this Community Highlight, let’s take a look at the Postal Code and Place API on OpenAPIHub. What is it, and how do you you use it?

What is a postal code?

A postal code is a unique geographical identifier used by governments and businesses for delivering parcels, identifying addresses and making their postal systems easier. While postal codes are used the world over, many regions such as Hong Kong make no use of postal codes.

In the United States, a zip code is a five-digit number that’s used to identify a locations. The first two digits identify the county, and the last three digits identify the district.

How are postal codes used?

In the United States, there are 4 main types of zip codes: PO Box, Unique, Military, and Standard.

What is a PO Box?

A PO Box is a type of post office box. It’s a special box with a number that you can use to send letters and parcels for you to collect. PO Box only zip codes get a special “P” classification in their zip code.

What is a “Unique” zip code?

Unique zip codes are a way of identifying a specific location. They’re usually four digits long and are used by businesses and organisations to track their deliveries. These companies usually receive large amounts of mail, warranting the special designation “U”.

What are “Military” zip codes?

Military zip codes are used by the military to identify locations. They’re usually five digits long and are different from regular zip codes in that they use a military format.

Normally, a postal service would give a civilian address like 123 Main Street to a soldier. But if the soldier is stationed in a faraway location, the postal service might not have that many addresses in that area. So they might give the soldier a military address instead. The same goes for ships at sea and camps on foreign soil.

As expected, military zip codes have the “M” designation.

What are “Standard” zip codes?

Standard 5-digit zip codes receive the “S” designation and represent a majority of addresses.

The Postal Code and Place API

The Postal Code and Place API reveals additional place information about a specific postal code, such as the country, state, place name and coordinates. It uses the database to source this information and provides it in an easy-to-use API.

Potential Use-cases

This Postal Code and Place API may be of use in order to:

  • Increase personalisation
  • Derive additional consumer data for targeted marketing
  • Build parcel tracking services

or to assist in other areas of your business.

Increasing personalisation with zip codes

By understanding the unique demographics of each zip code, marketers can create more targeted content and advertising. This can help them attract and retain customers, while also increasing conversion rates.

For example, a clothing retailer might send out ads to people living in a certain zip code that has high demand for their products. Or a restaurant might send out coupons to people who live in a certain area with a high concentration of diners. Through better targeting in their marketing and advertising, the company is more likely to reach their target audience and generate higher conversion rates, which in turn helps the company grow.

How to use?

Why should you choose this server?

The Postal Codes & Places API is supported by OpenAPIHub, an All-in-one API Platform that supports API Needs and it is certified as “AWS Qualified Software” since 2022. You can register for an API portal for free, share and monetise APIs easily on the trustable platform certified by ISO27001.


You will need a suitable API provider. Using the Postal Code & Places API, you can proceed easily as follows :

1. OpenAPIHub Developer Account

You need to sign up for an OpenAPIHub developer account in order to subscribe and access this API. For more information, please refer to “Register as a Developer“.

2. Active API Subscription

You need to subscribe to this API before consuming it. Many APIs come with a free trial plan so that you can experience the API functions provided free of charge. For more information, please refer to “Subscribe to APIs“.

3. API Credential

An API Key is required to access the API. It can be obtained in the Developer Admin Portal once you have completed the signup to OpenAPIHub. For more information, please refer to “Create API Key“.

You may check out the full API documentation here in the OpenAPIHub.

Interface with the API

Using the online endpoints interface, you may try the API in a no-code environment.

  1. Input a zip code in the parameters field.
  2. Select your API Key.
  3. Click on “Try it out”.
  4. You should see a result similar to the example below:
   "post code": "90210",
   "country": "United States",
   "country abbreviation": "US",
   "places": [
           "place name": "Beverly Hills",
           "longitude": "-118.4065",
           "state": "California",
           "state abbreviation": "CA",
           "latitude": "34.0901"

It is as simple as that! Now use the URL on the endpoints page in order to make use of this service in your project.


Today we learnt about zip codes and how to use the Postal Codes & Places API. Zip codes are a way of uniquely identifying a place, and the Postal Codes & Places API allows you to access information about a specific zip code, such as its population, businesses, and more.

Next Steps?

The Postal Code and Place API is available on OpenAPIHub. Get started with OpenAPIHub by reading the tutorial here. The Postal Code and Place API is available for free here. So what are you waiting for? Try out our API Now in OpenAPIHub and see how easy it is to facilitate your business, projects or work now! 

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