United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard

The FGDC endorsed the United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard in February 2011


Document number


Maintenance authority

U.S. Census Bureau


The United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard has been created to:

  • Provide one standard that meets the diverse address data management requirements for local address administration, postal and package delivery, emergency response (and navigation generally), administrative recordkeeping, and address data aggregation.
  • Support the use of best practices in address data management.
  • Provide a systematic, consistent basis for recording all addresses in the United States.
  • Define the elements needed to compose addresses and store them within relational databases and geographic information systems.
  • Define the attributes needed for address documentation, mapping, and quality testing, including address ID’s, coordinates, and linear reference locations. Provide a complete taxonomy (systematic classification) of US addresses that is useful to address data managers.
  • Introduce the idea of the address reference system—the formal description of the local address assignment rules, both spatial and non-spatial—and define its elements and attributes, as a basis for address assignment and quality testing.
  • Define tests and procedures for address data quality testing, error-trapping, and anomaly identification.
  • Support seamless exchange of address information, and foster consistent implementation of this standard, by defining XML models for every address element, attribute, and class, integrated into a single XML Schema Document.
  • Offer a migration path from legacy formats to standards-compliant ones.
  • Recognize, as a practical matter, that different business purposes and different data sources will require different levels of complexity in address data records, files and repositories.
  • Build on USPS Publication 28, the Census Bureau TIGER files, the FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata, the FGDC's National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Framework Data Content Standard, and previous FGDC address standard efforts.


The United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard covers thoroughfare, landmark, and postal addresses within the United States, including its outlying territories and possessions.

Additional Information

Additional information pertaining to the United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard can be found in the "Related content" section below. 

Two of the documents in that section have been added specifically to facilitate the 2015 Maintenance Review of the standard.  The document titled Map Position Proposal for 2015 Revision of the United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard  provides background information on the U.S. Census Bureau's proposal to add a new map position element to the standard. 

The document titled Change Log 2011 to 2015  lists proposed changes identified since publication of the standard in 2011.  These changes are reflected in the version of the standard posted for the 2015 Maintenance Review and are subject to the official public review and adjudication process.  The public review period closed on April 26, 2016.

Sponsored by

Cultural Resources Subcommittee

Project history

DocumentVersionDocument DateCustodian 
Proposal    2005-03-21  FGDC Standards Working Group 
Working draft  1.0 2005-09-01  URISA, NENA
Working draft   2.0 2005-12-01  URISA, NENA 
Committee draft (zip file, 4.3 MB) 2010-01-22 FGDC Standards WG
The FGDC Standards WG voted to recommend that the FGDC Coordination Group approve public review of the committee draft standard.  


FGDC Standards WG

Final draft (zip file, 7.7 MB, includes both Word and PDF format.  Comment adjudication logs are also included)

2010-11 FGDC Standards WG
The FGDC Coordination Group approved public review of the committee draft standard.   2010-03-16 FGDC Coordination Group 
Public review closes: Federal Register notice   2010-06-16  FGDC OS 
Final draft    2010-11   


The schemas for the standard are available at http://www.fgdc.gov/schemas/address/