Dealing With International Addresses

Danielle Grenier shows us how Etsy handles internationalization of addresses:

It starts off easy – you fill in your name, your street, your apartment number, and then you reach the field labelled “Post Town”. What is a “Post Town”? Huh. Next you see “County”. Well, you know what a county is, but since when do you list it in your address? Then there’s “Postal code”. You might recognize it as what the US calls a “zip code”, but it’s still confusing to see.

So now you don’t really know what to do, right? Where do you put your city, or your state? Do you just cram your address into the form however you can and hope that you get your order? Or do you abandon your cart and decide not to buy anything from this site?

This is more application-level code than data (and so glides over the underlying database work), but Danielle does link to some good resources for figuring out what non-US addresses look like.

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