An address is a collection of information, presented in a mostly fixed format, used to give the location of a building, apartment, or other structure or a plot of land.

An address is a collection of information, presented in a mostly fixed format, used to give the location of a building, apartment, or other structure or a plot of land, generally using political boundaries and street names as references, along with other identifiers such as house or apartment numbers. Some addresses also contain special codes, such as a postal code, to make identification easier and aid in the routing of mail.

Addresses are the location identifiers most widely used by the public and by federal, state and local government. Addresses are critical information for administrative, emergency response, research, marketing, mapping, GIS, routing and navigation, and many other purposes. Because they have evolved over many decades, under the control of thousands of local jurisdictions, in many different record and database formats, and to serve many purposes, different address formats and types pose a number of complex geoprocessing and modeling issues. As a consequence, government agencies struggle with these issues as they seek to integrate large, mission-critical files into master address repositories.

Reference

United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard (PDF)
Wikipedia Entry - address (geography)

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