An address in a residential area can be tricky to find if it's not near a main road. Rural route addresses in small towns and apartment buildings in massive cities can also be difficult to locate.

In New York City, new yorkers use an easy-to-remember mathematical formula (In Manhattan, you can drop the last number of an address and divide by 2) for finding the nearest avenue to a numbered street, or vice versa. Outside of NYC, however, it won’t be as easy as locating Broadway or Central Park, and a good county highway map or detailed atlas may be the way to go.

There are also a variety of free online mapping services on iPhone or Android whose algorithm allows users to pinpoint a building number and expand a search to nearby streets.

1. Find the most detailed map available

To find cross streets, find the most detailed map available. If the street address you are looking for is in a rural area, a county highway map may be your best option. These are available at your local county office building. If the area is somewhat urban or suburban, you may be able to find an atlas that has a page map for each community. Search for the street name of the address you are researching in the index and, when you find it on the map, note the cross streets in its vicinity.

2. Visit online mapping and street locator services

Visit online mapping and street locator services on your smartphone like Mapquest, Google Maps or Yahoo Maps. Enter the name of the community and/or road you are searching for and locate it on the map that appears on the page. As you zoom in on a location, the map becomes more detailed and the names of side street segments and residential roads will appear. Some sites include aerial views, so if you are familiar with the address, you can see what the nearest cross street areas look like.

3. Contact your county's tax mapping/real property office.

Call or contact your county's tax mapping/real property office. If you have trouble reading digital or hard copy maps, someone there can provide you with a list of cross streets if you tell them an exact address.