[google-api] Lookup City and State by Zip Google Geocode Api

I basically want to retrieve a list of city and state within a zipcode. Is Google's Geocode API capable of doing so? I've tried looking into the documentation but found the information overwhelming.

Any help would be appreciated. If there is another method of accomplishing such task, please let me know.


EDIT: I was able to retrieve the City and State through: http://maps.google.com/maps/geo?output=xml&q=14606 but is there a limitation against that?

This question is related to google-api google-geocoder

The answer is

I found a couple of ways to do this with web based APIs. I think the US Postal Service would be the most accurate, since Zip codes are their thing, but Ziptastic looks much easier.

Using the US Postal Service HTTP/XML API

According to this page on the US Postal Service website which documents their XML based web API, specifically Section 4.0 (page 22) of this PDF document, they have a URL where you can send an XML request containing a 5 digit Zip Code and they will respond with an XML document containing the corresponding City and State.

According to their documentation, here's what you would send:

http://SERVERNAME/ShippingAPITest.dll?API=CityStateLookup&XML=<CityStateLookupRequest%20USERID="xxxxxxx"><ZipCode ID= "0"><Zip5>90210</Zip5></ZipCode></CityStateLookupRequest>

And here's what you would receive back:

<?xml version="1.0"?> 
    <ZipCode ID="0"> 
        <City>BEVERLY HILLS</City> 

USPS does require that you register with them before you can use the API, but, as far as I could tell, there is no charge for access. By the way, their API has some other features: you can do Address Standardization and Zip Code Lookup, as well as the whole suite of tracking, shipping, labels, etc.

Using the Ziptastic HTTP/JSON API (no longer supported)

Update: As of August 13, 2017, Ziptastic is now a paid API and can be found here

This is a pretty new service, but according to their documentation, it looks like all you need to do is send a GET request to http://ziptasticapi.com, like so:

GET http://ziptasticapi.com/48867

And they will return a JSON object along the lines of:

{"country": "US", "state": "MI", "city": "OWOSSO"}

Indeed, it works. You can test this from a command line by doing something like:

curl http://ziptasticapi.com/48867 

function getCityState($zip, $blnUSA = true) {
    $url = "http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/json?address=" . $zip . "&sensor=true";

    $address_info = file_get_contents($url);
    $json = json_decode($address_info);
    $city = "";
    $state = "";
    $country = "";
    if (count($json->results) > 0) {
        //break up the components
        $arrComponents = $json->results[0]->address_components;

        foreach($arrComponents as $index=>$component) {
            $type = $component->types[0];

            if ($city == "" && ($type == "sublocality_level_1" || $type == "locality") ) {
                $city = trim($component->short_name);
            if ($state == "" && $type=="administrative_area_level_1") {
                $state = trim($component->short_name);
            if ($country == "" && $type=="country") {
                $country = trim($component->short_name);

                if ($blnUSA && $country!="US") {
                    $city = "";
                    $state = "";
            if ($city != "" && $state != "" && $country != "") {
                //we're done
    $arrReturn = array("city"=>$city, "state"=>$state, "country"=>$country);


couple of months back, I had the same requirement for one of my projects. I searched a bit for it and found out the following solution. This is not the only solution but I found it to one of the simpler one.

Use the webservice at http://www.webservicex.net/uszip.asmx.
Specifically GetInfoByZIP() method.

You will be able to query by any zipcode (ex: 40220) and you will have a response back as the following...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Hope this helps...