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ZIPScribble Animated

January 20th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Animated ZIP (code) Scribble Map in Google EarthThis is a Google Earth, time animated version of the U.S .ZIP map in my post from a couple of days ago. Based on Robert Kosara’s ZipScribble maps. 

The KML file contains 43,000 lines connecting every ZIP code in the country, TimeStamped in ascending numerical order.  

Just a slight warning: This is a very large and detailed time animation. It runs smoothly on my 3-year old PC (the little GIF above is from a real time capture), but may not work on some computers.

ZIP Scribble Map (USA) (650kB)

Viewing the File

  • Hit the play button in the Time Control, top right of the screen, or just drag the slider left or right. 
  • time_delta_google_earth.JPGExpand the time span to increase the number of ZIP Codes displayed at any time.
  • Deselect folders in the left sidepanel to alter the scope of the animation.
  • Change the visualization to a cumulative animation by selecting clamp beginning of time window in the time option dialog  – accessed through the white clock icon to the left of the time slider.


  • The numbers shown under the Time Control are 5-digit ZIP codes without the leading zeros.
  • States are different Colours. No significance in the choice of colour – it’s just for contrast with one another and the terrain.
  • White lines indicate the sequence jumping a State boundary.

P.S.  for a different take on visualizing ZIPs,  check out Ben Fry’s  Java, zipdecode.

  1. January 21st, 2008 at 04:45 | #1

    For all kinds of ways of looking at zip codes visit http://www.mapszipcode.com

  2. January 22nd, 2008 at 16:55 | #2

    Wow, this is great! Nice work!

  3. J
    April 24th, 2008 at 17:21 | #3

    nice effects.
    what i would like to know, is how you recorded the GIF and how come it’s not choppy?

  4. April 25th, 2008 at 10:30 | #4


    – Fraps to capture a video of the file running in Google Earth.
    – Jasc Animation Shop to resize, process and convert the video to GIF.

    The trick is to remove identical frames from the video. Gets rid of any stuttering.
    And chose a suitable framerate for the GIF. this one displays each frame for 8/100ths of second.
    A doddle to do both of these in Animation shop.

    I think Animation shop is now merged into Paint Shop Pro. But it should be possible to find a version online.

  5. ben
    July 3rd, 2008 at 00:00 | #5

    Comment from james
    “For all kinds of ways of looking at zip codes visit http://www.mapszipcode.com

    Visited and looked up my zip. Totally wrong placement on map, no border. Only things right were the state and country.

  1. January 27th, 2008 at 20:59 | #1