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A postcode is a shortened form of a postal address designed to make the sorting and delivery of mail more efficient. A properly written postcode enables the optical character reading (OCR) of addresses, thus permitting the automatic sorting of mail. Postcode systems around the world (there are over 100) reflect different things about the country concerned, including the way in which addresses are written; the relationship (if any) of the postal system to the wider system of administrative areas; the way urban, suburban, and rural areas are named or defined; the historic nature of urban growth; and the time of the introduction of the postcode system. Such factors are significant in assessing the usefulness of postcodes in GIS analyses, but it must be remembered that ...

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