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What Is the Purpose to Cross Referencing Street Addresses?

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Quick Answer

Cross-referencing street addresses with other information makes it easier to locate additional information about an address and to create reverse look-up directories for various purposes. Cross-referencing addresses indicates that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue refers to the White House and that 350 Fifth Avenue refers to the Empire State Building.

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Jack Cole cross-referenced telephone data with street addresses on IBM punchcards in 1947 to develop reverse look-up directories. Consumers, businesses and governments use Cole Directories for a variety of purposes. Realtors cross-reference street addresses to make it easier to browse listings of homes in particular neighborhoods or homes that meet specific search criteria. The Bureau of the Census cross-references street addresses with enumerator districts to assign territories to specific census takers and organize results for storing and retrieving the data. Cross-referencing street addresses with customer information enables credit card verification for online sales.

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