I built a web app (formerly at the domain mapping.codes) that allows users to map multiple ZIP code boundaries on a single map with customizable styles, and export that map in a simple, easy, and quick fashion. In my own ZIP code mapping exploits, I'd found that there wasn't a great tool that does this (most are slow, ugly, or non-functional). 

I don't have a background in web development (or any of the other skills required to make this project a reality), and I figured this would be a good way to get started with some of those skills. Little did I know, the steps involved were more considerable than I'd expected (contact me if you'd like to learn more). 

Some things I learned in the process:

  • Apparently, I was the only one trying to map ZIP code boundaries on the internet? Based on traffic to this app, there are clearly very few people who have this need.

  • Whenever I mapped ZIP codes online, I was working with large batches and would get frustrated with the time it would take to generate these maps. I built this tool to be fairly robust and able to handle large sets of ZIPs quickly and efficiently, but I found that out of the few people who were using this tool, a majority were mapping a single ZIP code.

  • Technical learnings:

    • Node.js

    • AngularJS

    • CSS

    • MySQL

Things I want to build out, but am reluctant to because of limited demand for the service, generally speaking: 

  • Search for preset groupings of ZIP codes (cities, states, congressional districts, etc.)

  • Support for point ZIPs (that don't have polygon boundaries)

  • Ability to enable labels for ZIPs

  • Opacity settings based on data submitted per ZIP (effectively, relative shading on a large scale)