In the search for improving data quality at our company, I found a government site that maintains a list of all the known populated areas in the US, and their proper names. The site is part of the USGS (US Geological Survey) agency, and it is called the Geographic Names Information System.

We can use this data to help us give the properly cased names for cities, and counties. We currently use a system by Vertex Inc. called Sales Tax for L Series, to get sales tax information for specific locations. A side benefit of this software is that we can do ZIP code to City/County/State mapping, and vice-versa. The only problem with this system is that all of the City/County/State names are in UPPER CASE. By joining that data to the GNIS data, we can properly case all of the names for free.


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