Boundary Maps Archives

November 30, 2006

How USPS Zip Code Polygons were calculated

My USPS Zip Code area maps are a combination of the Tiger mathematical representation of the US and my AIS USPS Zip+4 based Reverse Geocoder to produce up to date zip code areas. As there are no "official" zip code areas, each company that produces a map showing such a thing has calculated a close approximation of what a zip code area could look like. In my case, I believe my maps are pretty accurate.

To produce USPS Zip Code polygons, the reverse geocoding process was applied to the 16 million Tiger/Line type 'A' records to arrive at an approximation that would be independent of any errors and omissions the Tiger/Line database contains. The assumption was made that towns, cities and counties with a single zip code would be processed as that zip code.

April 16, 2007

Zip Code Polygon Databases

USNaviguide/ has three versions of zip code polygon databases available for licensing:

2006 ZCTA - $1000

This is the most popular option as the areas are fairly up to date, accurate and inexpensive.

2007 USPS Zip Code Areas - $5000

This option has the most up to date polygons. All zip codes except "point" (p.o. boxes, APO's and buildings with their own zip code) zip codes are covered. This database is updated quarterly and is best used by those that require the highest accuracy and up to date data.

2000 ZCTA - $200.00

These polygons can be obtained for no cost directly from the census bureau in several formats, notably, shapefiles. We provide them at a nominal charge of $200.00 in a tab delimited Postgres dump format. I suggest that the effort be made to download and extract the data yourself though, as it is a useful exercise. The downside of these polygons is they are very out of date, circa 1998 or older, so unless you need to match your zip code areas to specific Census 2000 data, they are probably useless.


We provide 2006 ZCTA and 2007 USPS polygons in two formats: shapefiles and tab delimited Postgres dump formats. The dump format loads easily into Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL, plus of course Postgres so is the usual choice.

To license any of these databases, please contact us ( click here ) directly for instructions on how to submit payment and downloading.

November 15, 2007

Telephone Area Code (NPA) Map

We're pleased to announce the creation of a new map for Telephone Area Codes, otherwise known in the industry as NPA's.

As with our other maps, this one can be zeroed into an area code by either clicking on the map or keying in an area code. The map automatically zooms and centers to fit the area code in the viewport of the map. Additionally, the map can be accessed directly by adding an area code to the link:<area code>


Feel free to link to us with this form if you'd like to use our maps on your site.

The base area code layer is available to use on your map for a fee. Contact us if you're interested at: Contact Us!

Source of data: Maponics Please contact Maponics directly if you're interested in acquiring the data for your company.

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