The Interactive ZIPScribble Map

Surface map © 2010 CloudMade, OpenStreetMap contributors, CCBYSA. ZIP/postal code data from geonames.

The idea behind the ZIPScribble Map is simple: Connect all the ZIP or postal codes in a country in ascending order. Does that produce chaos or some kind of pattern? Use this interactive map to explore.

  • Pan and zoom using the mouse and your scroll wheel or scroll gesture on OS X.
  • Switch to fullscreen by clicking the little arrow widget on the top right.
  • Look at different countries using the drop-down list in the lower right.
  • Turn the map on and off. The map can be interesting to figure out where some structure is, but the scribble pattern is actually much more interesting without a background.
  • Turn state coloring on and off. This is for countries where the data contains state or province information. Coloring the states differently shows how the patterns line up with state boundaries and helps focus on structures that are natural boundaries, like mountain ranges and large rivers.
  • Link to a particular country or place. The URL reflects your current view, including the country you’ve selected and the location and zoom of the map. If you want to share a particular view, copy the entire URL. If you want a generic view of a country, only include the two-letter country code after the hash symbol. The page also remembers the last country you looked at (but a specific link overrides that).

Built using Polymaps. The source code for this page is available on github.

ZIPScribble Map: France

ZIPScribbleMap France

The French are known for their beaurocracy, and the map seems to be an expression of that. Inside each r├ęgion, there are several clusters for the d├ępartements, neatly separated. Smaller departments are often thrown together with larger ones, though, and inside each cluster is a nice bit of scribble chaos to make things more interesting. To the south-east, you can see the Mediterranean island Corsica. Continue reading ZIPScribble Map: France