What is a Post Office?
There are quite a few types of Location Types you can choose from, but the USGS guidelines stipulate that only official USPS facilities should be included in the National Structures dataset: this translates to the Post office, Village Post office, and Contract Postal Units location types. To do a search for these three typesThe United States Postal Service (USPS) is a branch of the federal government that sells postage and delivers mail to the general public. Only official USPS facilities that are staffed with postal service employees and have window service hours for the public should be collected.
Where can I find authoritative lists of Post Offices?
USPS.com’s Find Locations tool is the primary authoritative source for post offices. To limit this list to approved USPS facilities, go to USPS.com’s Find Locations tool, select “Post Offices and Approved Postal Providers” from the Location Types listand then
, click on the Refine search link, and then make sure that onlyPost Offices, Village Post offices, and Contract Postal Units
“Post Offices” and “Village Post Offices” are checked.
This restricted definition means ensures that many the locations that only sell stamps or , only have only automated postal centers, or only participate in the PO Box Online program (e.g., such as markets, banks, and office and mailing supply stores, ) are omitted since they do not qualify as Post Offices post offices for the National Structures dataset.
Naming Post Offices:
The guidelines stipulate that the correct way to name a post office is: <name> Post Office, for example “Pueblo Post Office”. Also, to naming the Contract Postal Unit, the correct way is: Name+Contract Postal Unit or Name+CPU. The name is the name that is shown in the USPS website. Occasionally, you will see a Post Office on the USPS website that has a name like “Westminster (Harris Park)”; in this case, name the post office as: "Westminster Post Office Harris Park Station”. .Another helpful source is USPS’s Postmaster Finder. If a point is not listed in USPS.com, it may be listed as an RMPO or PTPO on the Postmaster Finder website. This tool is also helpful when searching for discontinued post offices. Be aware that this information is not regularly updated and not all post offices are listed.
Editing/Reviewing Post Offices for a city or county:
You might want to review If you're interested in reviewing all of the Post Offices post offices for a city or county. To do this, go to the the USPS Find Locations web page; , restrict the search to Post Offices “Post Offices” and Village “Village Post Offices, and Contract Postal Units; ” type in the city of interest; , and select a reasonable search radius. Then go through all of the locations and make sure they are in the Structures databaserepresented in The National Map Corps’ editor. If you are working on a county, then successively type in the names of various cities in that county with a reasonable search radius for each so that when each of your search results are combined you get complete results for the whole county. NOTE: there is a a USPS web page for for searching for Post Offices post offices within a county, but this search uses an out-of-date - database, so it is recommended not to rely on this county search.
Where do I place a Post Office Structure Point?
Post offices typically occupy one small building. Larger annexes or distribution centers with public post offices may be in larger buildings. The general rule is to locate the post office structure point at the center of the building.
For more information on how to identify a post office, check out the “Aerial Photo Interpretation Part 2: Post Offices” article in our November 2017 Newsletter
Naming Post Offices:
The preferred way to name a post office is: <Name> + “Post Office” where <Name> is the title listed on the USPS website (e.g., “Pueblo Post Office”). Occasionally, you will see a post office on the USPS website that has a name like “Westminster (Harris Park)”; in this case, name the post office as: "Westminster Post Office Harris Park Station”.
Check out our Name and Address Formatting Guide for more on naming post offices. We also have some Q&A entries that provide more information on how to properly name Community Post Offices (CPOs), Remotely Managed Post Offices (RMPOs), Part Time Post Offices (PTPOs), and Post Office Express locations (POEs).
What is a City Hall / Town Hall?
A City Hall or Town Hall is the primary administrative building of a township or municipal government. This may include buildings called City Hall, Town Hall, Village Hall, Municipal Building, Municipal Center, City Building or other name variations. City and Town halls are usually associated with Incorporated Places in the U.S. Incorporated places are a legally defined entity and may be called city, borough, town, village (depends on the state). There are over 19,000 incorporated places in the U.S. as per the Census Bureau's Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS). There are no incorporated places in Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
Characteristics of a City Hall / Town Hall may include the building being open to the public, the city or town mayor and council operating out of that building, as well as assorted departments and employees of local governments.
Please note that this feature class does not include county, state or federal level administration buildings.
Where can I find authoritative lists of City Hall / Town Hall structures?
There are no authoritative lists of City Hall / Town Hall structures. The best way to confirm a City Hall / Town Hall feature point is to research the official website of the city or township.
The closest thing to a national list may be a list of cities and townships on Wikipedia.com, however these only include a small portion of the country’s cities and townships. When using lists like these, it is important that users verify each City Hall / Town Hall with an authoritative source.
Where do I place a City Hall / Town Hall structure point?
Most municipalities or townships have one central building. If this is the case, place the point at the center of the building.
Some municipalities may have a municipal “campus” of buildings with administrative offices; others may have individual buildings that are geographically distributed throughout the city. It is important to note that we are not collecting the location of individual city departments. We are only collecting the primary city/town hall; typically the building that houses the city council and/or mayor’s office. Place the point at the center of this building.
How do I name a City Hall / Town Hall?
Similar to courthouses, try to determine the name of the building when editing City Hall / Town Hall structures. Contact information on government websites usually includes the building name with the address. Examples include Denver’s City Council located in the City and County Building, or Cedar Rapids’s Manager’s Office in the City Hall: