shrug-l: More Zipcode Stuff

Sykes, John John.Sykes at
Mon Feb 18 16:56:12 EST 2008



Actually, I believe the FGDL zip code polygon layer is an updated and,
therefore, more current, ESRI layer.


-- John 


From: shrug-l-bounces at
[mailto:shrug-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of
Eric_Songer at
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 4:52 PM
To: Shrug (E-mail)
Subject: shrug-l: More Zipcode Stuff



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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