Seeking reverse-lookup by address for US and international businesses
July 19, 2013 10:10 AM   Subscribe

I need to find online directories that will let me do reverse lookup of businesses by address, and only by address, for various cities in the US, Europe and Asia. Essentially I want international versions of, the online Swiss phone book.

As an example, here's a search for businesses on Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich. Every commercial address on that street is returned. I only typed in the street name there, but a service where the building number was required would also be OK.

All the services I could find for the USA either require a category business name as part of the search, or only return private residences. Neither of these works for me.

I need to find directories like this for as many cities/countries as possible. This is amazingly hard even for New York - I can't imagine what it'll be like to find this information for Dubai, Seoul or Shanghai. Any help gratefully accepted!
posted by daisyk to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unfortunately, here in the US this information is generally pay-to-play unless you're at the local public library and looking at the hard-copy city directory.

The for-profit places that provide current city directories (which include lists of occupants/businesses by address -- it's called a reverse directory, street directory, or cross-reference search here) are Cole Information and Polk City Directories.

I am not aware of any reverse-directory services for Mexico, Japan, or China, although usually I am looking for historical coverage and I might not be aware of a current source.

Can you provide any information about what you need this information for? There are some search techniques that might help, depending on what you're trying to do.
posted by pie ninja at 10:34 AM on July 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the links, pie ninja. I've requested contact from both Cole and Polk.

I'm trying to build up a database of the addresses of retail locations in various cities, starting with a few specific streets per city (so for New York it might be Madison Avenue, 5th Avenue and East 57th Street). For each street I need all the addresses in the shopping zone and the names of the business tenants there. It would be especially useful if the site design made it easy to scrape this data, since there's a lot of it!
posted by daisyk at 11:12 AM on July 19, 2013

Ah -- if it's retail, there are actually firms that do exactly that already, and someone of them work overseas already. Retail Research Group and Mapping Analytics are two examples although I haven't worked with them. Although, again, these are paid services.
posted by pie ninja at 11:49 AM on July 19, 2013

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