Plotting zipcode data May 15, 2001 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Anyone have ideas on how to plot zipcode data? I haven't found anything free or near free on ESRI's site or at any of the ColdFusion code exchanges. Are there any opensource simple GIS programs? I could have sworn there was a mapping component to ArsDigita's ACS some group was working on. Anything in PHP? Perl?

I'm looking for something that can spit out a simple map of the US with little dots where the zip code data shows up.
posted by mathowie (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 10:15 PM (21 comments total)

Quick, ugly answer is to use that map thing in Excel 2000. I'm on 2002 now, so I can't remember how it works. But it'd hardly be automated; You'd have to dump the appropriate MeFi data into Excel, parse it, and then take the map picture and put it back up on the site.

Not live, I know. That's the short answer with no added expense. I emailed the webmaster of the pop vs. soda site to see how (s)he did it....
posted by anildash at 12:02 AM on May 16, 2001

Perhaps more to the point, there is a file of zipcodes with latitude and longitude (warning: bigass text file) linked from this U.S. Census page. Caveats about the data are here.

All an offset of the Tiger mapping service. Your tax dollars hard at work to make a better MeFi.
posted by anildash at 12:12 AM on May 16, 2001

Matt, I think you'll find what you need to here. It's not free, but it's cheap. It looks like the US Map Browser does exactly what you want, real-time, and you can make the resulting map clickable (click the dot to see users there, for example).
posted by ewagoner at 6:39 AM on May 16, 2001

Now that I've done it, I see that the US Map Browser is free. And looks nice, too. It looks like the free version isn't automatically clickable, but since you didn't ask for that, I suppose that's OK.
posted by ewagoner at 6:46 AM on May 16, 2001

posted by ewagoner at 6:52 AM on May 16, 2001

Yay midwest!
posted by iceberg273 at 9:10 AM on May 16, 2001

Sweet! thanks Eric!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:49 AM on May 16, 2001

I see nothing. Admittedly, I am running NN 4.5, but I also opened up 6.0 and still see nothing. I'll check it when I get to my IE computer tonight, but still...
posted by norm at 12:20 PM on May 16, 2001

norm, it's a .bmp file
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:51 PM on May 16, 2001

Here is a GIF version. Note that the GIF version is about 5% the size of the BMP.
posted by kindall at 4:56 PM on May 16, 2001

I think it would be cooler looking without the little black boxes that denote cities. But I'm just picky.
posted by norm at 7:48 AM on May 17, 2001

I agree, Norm.
posted by SpecialK at 8:28 AM on May 17, 2001

And that red stuff looks like paprika. But, I'm just kidding. Cool.

Wait, the black boxes are cities? I thought those were the members. The cayenne pepper denotes the members? I didn't think that many people had updated their zip-codes.

(gravy, and smothered corn... sorry I'm hungry)
posted by mblandi at 8:37 AM on May 17, 2001

All that you're looking at is configurable. I made it in about a second and a half, just to get the idea across for Matt. Try it yourself, and make one that's aesthetically right for you. It's actually a neat little tool.
posted by ewagoner at 10:38 AM on May 17, 2001

The little black boxes are members, the red stuff is some demographic data that you can turn on or off.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:50 AM on May 17, 2001

Oh man... I'm there: right in the middle of nothing. I'm not sure if I feel important, or just hella lonely.

posted by silusGROK at 4:41 PM on May 17, 2001

I need a UK/international version of this tool! Seriously speaking that look very fun.
posted by nedrichards at 4:54 PM on May 17, 2001

Forget about Red vs. Blue. It's Pink vs. Beige!
posted by luke at 8:06 PM on May 17, 2001

Now what we need is a Metafilter-membership proportional map of the US....
posted by dhartung at 11:21 AM on May 18, 2001

Matt: "The little black boxes are members..."

A MeFi map without Baylink? (There should be another black box in the west coast of Florida.)
posted by tamim at 12:42 AM on May 20, 2001

This one's purtier. =)

posted by ZachsMind at 4:33 AM on June 9, 2001

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