yesterday we added another annotation to our geocoding results. For queries in the United States (and associated territories) we now attempt to add the FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) code for the state and county of the result.

FIPS codes are two (state) or five (county) digit unique identifiers that are often used to link up different governmental datasets, including census data. You can learn more about FIPS codes over on wikipedia. One important point to note - FIPS codes, like postal codes, are strings of digits, they are not numbers. They can start with a leading 0, so make sure you store them as text not numbers.

Our goal with the FIPS code annotation is that same as with all the other annotations: to make life a bit easier for users of the API. We know that geocoding is typically just one task of many in the process of enriching a dataset. Hopefully this annotation makes life a tiny bit simpler for reseachers using the API to enhance their data sets.

The idea behind this annotation came from a request from one of our customers. Many thanks! If you have any suggestions for improving our service, please let us know.

You can refer to our geocoding API docs for a full list of all annotations. If you don’t need annotations and want a slightly faster response you can turn annotations off by using the optional no_annotations parameter.

happy geocoding,

Ed, who grew up in dear old { county: "37051", state: "37" }