shrug-l: More Zipcode Stuff

Eric_Songer at Eric_Songer at
Mon Feb 18 16:52:03 EST 2008


I was really just causing trouble with my e-mail.  I have a personal bias
against distribution fees for what are essentially public data.  But having
said that.  I got some good answers so I thought I would compile them.

A good roll your own suggestion from John Sykes (Valerie Milmore had the
same idea, but no instructions):

See if this works for you.  First create a clean shapefile of county
boundaries from the Tiger County Boundary layer from the Florida Geographic
Data Library (FGDL) at FSU.  You need to dissolve this layer, because a
couple of the counties have more than one record (notably Bay and Volusia
Counties).  After dissolving you should have 67 records for the 67
counties.  Then, download the USPS zip code layer from the FGDL.  Finally,
you need to perform a Spatial Join of the two layers.  Use the ToolBox
Spatial Join NOT the others!  Please note that there are more resulting
records that in the input zip code files, because many zip codes cross
county boundaries.  I would send you the resulting Shapefile, but it is too
large to e-mail.  I almost forgot, it is important to set the buffer to
Intersect, NOT Contained, because of this county overlap.

From Keith Sandell: and another
  for zipcode centroids although I think most people would want polygons.

From Yurong Tan:

Also, you have to keep in mind that zip codes do not necessarily follow
county lines – a zip code can cross city, county and state lines.  Also,
there are point zips too.

Which brings up a good point.  Not all 5 digit zips are polys.  Think of
the State Agencies.  And the zip+4 (9 digit) are even worse,  They
correspond more closely to a carrier's route.  Apparently, the definition
of a zipcode (from the Maponics website that Henry sent out) is a set of
address points.

As for me, I believe I just used TeleAtlas Dynamap data for what I was
doing.  However, I can't find the dataset I used because I took it offline,
so I can't swear to it actual existence.

And last, but not least.  Look on the ESRI Data and Maps Media Kit that
shipped with your ArcGIS.  It has 3 and 5 digit zipcode shapefiles.


Eric Songer
URS Corporation
1625 Summit Lake Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32317
Direct: 850.402.6327
Main: 800.842.9671 ext. 327
eric_songer at

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