Wrong information about a business came up again, as it has a hundred times. We went to a major corporation’s web site – in this case, Verizon Wireless – to find their nearest location to our home. The site’s “Store Locator” informed us the two nearest locations were, respectively, four and 25 miles away. This was nonsense, since we knew there were Verizon cell phone centers closer than that. In fact, it turned out there was one around the corner from us.

We searched next for a nearby store that sold Dansko shoes. These were recommended to us by an airline stewardess because she said they were easier on her feet. Dansko’s  store locator quickly turned up two stores within two blocks of us. The difference? Dansko, it turned out, uses a service calledFind a Store“GeoCoding,” which costs them about $3,000 a year. It’s a data service that provides up-to-date information on business locations and many other things. You can get a free trial of this service by going to Click on the box labeled “Free Lookups” for a host of information about real estate, zip codes, store locations, demographics, etc.

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