Hotline search by zip doesn't show all results

Q: On the Literacy MN Adult Literacy Hotline, I did a search by zip, entered 55303, and restricted it to a 5 mile radius. No results appeared, including our Anoka Tech ABE site, which is in this zip.  I then tried a search using 55303 with a 10 mile radius. Both Anoka Tech and Elk River both show up.

Is something broken?

A: Not exactly broken. Let's call it a weakness of the Google mapping system. 

To do a search by zipcode, Google locates the center of the zipcode area. It then measures distance from the center of the zipcode. Unfortunately, the Anoka Tech site is more than 5 miles from the center point of the zipcode. If you search by 55303 and 10 miles, it will find the site, and show it as 7.9 miles away (from the center of the zipcode). 

Note that if you search by city and 5 mile radius, Google will find all locations, including the Anoka Tech ABE site.

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