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What's new about the Area Decoder?

Thanks for your interest in the new Area Decoder. A lot has changed, we've added quite a number of new features. Lets start with the major design changes.

We've more than tripled the number of city codes compared with the old area decoder, with nearly a quarter million different cities and entries for almost every country in the world. We are constantly improving these numbers with user feedback. We have an area code for every city in the United States! Your queries will be lightning fast with our new high speed database.

The Area Decoder now operates using XML data, and an XSL stylesheet. XSL is a programming language used to format the XML data into HTML, readable by your browser. Currently, the only browser we're supporting this feature with is Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. We may expand this capability to other browsers in the future. The key benefit to using an XSL stylesheet is that we minimize the amount of data that we send to your browser. The amount of processing the server has to do is reduced, which results in faster response times and the ability to serve more users at the same time.

XSL/XML also paves the way for many other exciting possiblities. We may add different skins or color themes, printable versions of the page, and useful interactive controls like sorting. This is version 1.0, you can expect to see more features as we come out with new releases.


Move your cursor over the images below for more detailed descriptions of the output.

Intelligent Input Processor

We have worked hard to make it easy for the Area Decoder to understand what you are trying to find, and to do everything it can to find it. The query text you enter can take many different forms; a city name, a city name and a country or region name (to narrow your search), and dial codes in any format you can think of.

If you don't know how to spell the place you're looking for, the database will do its best to find all possible matches using an advanced approximate matching technique, similar to the technology the Google(tm) search engine uses.

The New Area Decoder takes output organization and readability to new levels. You can interactively hide pieces of information that you aren't interested in. We encourage you to use this feature for printing or displaying only what you need. Simply click on the [-] (minus) sign next to the section title, like country matches. All of these output sections are color coded, so you can quickly find what you're looking for.



Area Code / Local Exchange Information

When you search for a local exchange, such as (213)-630, you get a detailed history of all splits in that area code. This is useful if you need to get in touch with someone after their area code has changed due to an area code split; a procedure the phone company uses to add new telephone numbers to an area that is growing in population and telephone subscribers.

You also get information on the owner of the central office code, and the type of code it is registered as. A cellular phone prefix will show up with the cellular company, and one of the various cellular phone service types. Often the owner will simply be the regional local exchange carrier.

The area code match section lists the major cities found in this area code, as well as the creation/activation date, current time, and a link to the area code map. Area codes and local exchanges are listed for The United States, Canada, and The Carribean.

We also include area code maps, with clickable/zoomable insets, for area code and state matches. A Canadian area code map is also available.

You can view this map by clicking the State area code map link from the State or the Area Code output sections. You must have javascript enabled for this to work.

City Information Lookups

The new area decoder provides a lot more information for cities you look up. If you look up a city and there are more than two matches found, you're presented with a list of names and regions, along with the area code and the current time in that city. We thought this would be what most people are interested in. You can look up cities by their name, or their dial code.

If you click on one of the names in the list mentioned above, you get more detailed information on that city. This more detailed format is also displayed when there are less than three cities found.

When available, you're presented with a list of nearby cities, their distance and direction. If there are any vartiations on the name, those are presented as well.

    Detailed information presented for each city includes the following:
  • The name of the City, it's region name (state name for US cities), and sub region name (county name for US cities).
  • The cities dial code.
  • A list of major nearby cities along with their distance and direction, to help you visualize the city's relative location.
  • A list of alternate names or spellings.
  • The city's time zone, and current time.
Country and Regional Information

If you look up a country name, or a country code, or you include a country or region name along with the city you're searching for, you're presented with detailed information on that country or region.

Included is a list of country name variants, calling rates, the top 5 populated cities for the country and the associated dialing codes along with a list of all the country's time zones and the current time for each. A currency exchange rate calculator and a telecommunications assessment is also included, provided courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency's CIA factbook.

    Detailed information presented for each country match includes the following:
  • The country name (long form), flag, and abbreviation.
  • The country dial code.
  • A list of alternate names and spellings.
  • Telephone calling rates provided by AmeriCom for that country.
  • A list of major populated cities and their dial code.
  • A list of time zone's for the country, and their current time.
  • Currency exchange rate information (in US Dollars).
  • A country telecom assessment, provided by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA FactBook).

The state matches list the area codes, date the area code was created and top 10 major cities per area code. There is also a link to view the state area code map.

    Detailed information presented for each state match includes the following:
  • The state name, flag, and abbreviation.
  • An area code map for that state
  • A list of area codes, and major populated cities in those area codes.
Country header, short name and dial code (clickable links) City name and region (clickable link) Area Code (USA and Canada) or City Code (International) Current city time Expandable section header Country header, short name and dial code (clickable link) Primary city name First administrative region or State (USA) Second administrative region or subregion (State for USA) City dial code (US Area Code) Nearby Cities (includes distance and direction) Alternate city names and spellings Time Zone and Greenwich Mean Time offset Current city time Country flag Country name (long form) Country Abbreviation Country dial code Alternate country names and spellings Competitive country calling rates provided by AmeriCom's Simplicity (SM) Long Distance Service Major populated cities and their dial codes List of countries time zones, and the current time Country currency information (names and dollar exchange rate) Country Telecommunications Assessment provided by the CIA (United States Central Intelligence Agency) includes General Assessment as well as Domestic and International links Expandable section header Expandable section header Expandable section header Area code and local exchange code Split area code and local exchange code Split area code and local exchange code Split area code and local exchange code Split description, includes split activation (permissive dialing) date and split mandatory dialing date as well as the central office identifier Split description, includes split activation (permissive dialing) date and split mandatory dialing date as well as the central office identifier Exchange's central office Exchange type (mobile, residential, etc.) Owner, responsible telephone company Date exchange was activated Split information, including the central office name, exchange type, and owner (see exchange match for more information) Split information, including the central office name, exchange type, and owner (see exchange match for more information) Split information, including the central office name, exchange type, and owner (see exchange match for more information) Area code Region and Country Creation/Activation date Popup link to area code map Current area code time(s) and time zone(s) Major cities in the area code, by population Expandable section header State flag State name Region abbreviation Region area code map Region area codes Area code creation/activation date Area codes major cities by population Inset (clickable/zoomable) Inset (clickable/zoomable) Print link (opens browsers print dialog) Search the entire database (world-wide cities and codes) Limit search to the United States or the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) Input box, Enter any name or dialing code in any format you like
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