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Thread: Map nerds rejoice!

  1. #1

    Registered
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    Map nerds rejoice!

    http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/fry/zipdecode/

    This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. If anyone has ever wondered how the ZIP code system works geographically, this is the way to learn about it. Supremely interesting.

    I've always had a fascination with ZIP codes since I grew up in one of the best ones in the whole country: 23456. Only Schenectady, NY can beat it.

    -Ben

  2. #2
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Very cool indeed
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    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    My zip code, 14221, Williamsville, NY (outside of Buffalo), but containing parts of the towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Lancaster has its own bumper sticker. Its a white oval with 14221 printed on it and Williamsville, NY underneath in smaller lettering. It is much like the stickers that say "OBX" (Outer Banks, NC) or VT (Vermont) which I believe are called "euros". Has anybody ever seen one for another zip code?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Very useful map, especially as we do some analysis on out of state property ownership in our county.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  5. #5
    That was really neat, especially with the zoom feature installed.
    I like my sister-in-law's old zip: 01776 for Sudbury, Mass. :-0
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Very cool. Love highlighted areas.

  7. #7
    Moving at my own pace....... Planderella's avatar
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    What would be even cooler is if you could pull up pictures along with the zip code of the city or town.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I found a bug in Chicago

    60601, 60602, 60604, 60605, 60606, 60608 and 60609 all map to the exact same point.

  9. #9
    I'd like to know a little more about the logic though. Once you get past the first 3 numbers it does seem pretty random. It's not related to date of incorporation or geography, or at least not as far as I can tell... the last two digits are a mystery to me.

  10. #10

    Registered
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    what I've been able to deduce

    Well, in some cases, the digits seem to be based on a dominant city in the region. 10001 is New York City, 20001 is Washington, DC, 300XX are around Atlanta, 600XX are around Chicago, 70001 is near New Orleans, 80001 is a suburb of Denver, and 90001 is Los Angeles. But 40003 is Bagdad, Kentucky and 50001 is Ackworth, Iowa.

    It seems to me that some of these are probably the results of "redistricting" the ZIP codes according to new development as they become necessary. My current ZIP is 23185, Williamsburg, VA. But the 231XX prefix covers a huge geographic area that doesn't make much sense. In contrast, the 2345X area is only Virginia Beach, 235XX only Norfolk, 236XX only Newport News, etc.

    Does it seem strange to anyone else that New Jersey is a "0" state along with New England while New York and Pennsylvania are "1" states? Just little things I've noticed.

    -Ben

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    60601, 60602, 60604, 60605, 60606, 60608 and 60609 all map to the exact same point.
    I suppose that it depends on the resolution, these Zip Codes are all in downtown Chicago and although I don't have a map handy, one or two of them likely cover no more than ONE BLOCK of land area (what is the Sears Tower's Zip Code and is it unique to the building? Also, while it was still in existance, 1 and 2 World Trade Center in NYC was all that was 10048).

    There is one Zip Code here in Appleton, WI that is for only one building, too. All mail going to Thrivent Financial Services (formerly Aid Association for Lutherans fraternal insurance) is 54919. Also, 54912 covers all of Appleton's PO Boxes and nothing else.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Don't type in complete zip code.
    Interesting mapping sequence by typing in each number in
    then seeing the resulting increased zoom in.
    Oddball
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    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  13. #13
    Thanks for the link! I love maps and collect them...

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    I lived in 077** for most of my life which is the northern 1/4 of the Jersey Shore.
    The distribution of the last two digits might seem random, the numbers are rarely near each other but with maybe one or two exceptions (recent additions) it's alphabetical.

    Oakhurst
    07755

    Ocean Grove
    07756

    Oceanport
    07757


    I think the reason New Jersey is a 0 and not a 1 has more to do with how far west New York State goes. It was probably easier to make the state all a 1 then divide it somewhere around Utica. On the same token there were prob. plenty of 0 left and not much 1.

    Why didn't they do this for area codes?
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    Why didn't they do this for area codes?
    Area codes were originally assigned with speed of dial in mind on rotary phones. Since NYC got the most calls, it got 212, the quickest number you can dial on a rotary. LA got 213, almost as quick. Chicago got 312. Codes X1X were portions of states, while X0X were codes that covered entire states. Over the years more and more codes were added and modified, so today it obviously doesn't follow that logic at all. But imagine how much of a pain it'd be to keep dialing people with 909 area codes on a rotary phone?

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