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"A comprehensive address verification system" does not take a few hours to make. In another comment on this thread I posted a link to an amazingly detailed address format database and I'm quite sure it took longer than that to make.

I think this would be an awesome open source project!

To clarify: I'm not suggesting that this AVS be made from scratch. That definitely would take, as you say, more than a few hours -- not to mention that it's unnecessary.

Finding the rules and data is but a trivial, slightly time-consuming task. I saw your link before posting my previous comment and took this into consideration: someone reading this immediately has a comprehensive DB of address formats.

"A few hours" may have been a bit ambitious, but over a weekend, and with the required data already available, creating a back-end solution to this is surely not out of the realms of possibility for a reasonably competent programmer?

Have to agree with this being a great idea for an open source project. I had a little look around and the Google Geocoding Web Service (http://code.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/geocoding/) looks like a nice place to start, although most likely outside their ToS. For everyone else, it's determining what's good enough from what's perfect (a good starting point: http://www.endswithsaurus.com/2009/07/lesson-in-address-stor...).

Edited: And the resources on a previous HN posting for this article are helpful, too: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1232042

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