mapping.codes is a web app I built 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:
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)