Searching for that elusive zip code?

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Searching for that elusive zip code?

Have you ever wanted to mail a letter, but you didn't know the ZIP code for the address?

That's no longer a problem if you can access the World Wide Web, where the National Address Server will provide you with the ZIP+4 code for any residential or commercial address in the United States.

Alumni users of the Web can access the new service directly at

Developed by computer scientists in the Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR) at UB, the server is a comprehensive provider of all ZIP+4 information. It was recently chosen by Apple Computer to be linked to its consumer site on the World Wide Web.

Users simply type in the name, street address, city and state and the server responds with the ZIP+4 code. While the five-digit ZIP code identifies at least the destination post office, the ZIP+4 code reveals the side of the street, or even the house or building, where the letter's final destination is located.

"An important aspect of the National Address Server is that the system will clean up the address if there are slight errors in it," said Sargur Srihari, CEDAR director and UB professor of computer science. "If, for example, you type in 'Maple Avenue' when the proper location is 'Maple Road,' the server will correct it for you and provide the complete ZIP+4 code."