[R] Zipcodes latitude and longitude

Roger Bivand Roger.Bivand at nhh.no
Wed May 23 23:44:15 CEST 2007

On Tue, 22 May 2007, Farrel Buchinsky wrote:

> I see several mapping libraries but cannot find how to do a simple task.

(for some definition of simple)

Perhaps this thread:


on geocoding might help, especially Gabor Grothendieck's contribution.

> Starting with a vector of zip codes (in the United States and in Canada) I
> would like to automatically lookup the corresponding coordinates. Can you
> suggest a package and function that I should turn to?
> I would also like to automatically pull in the altitude, and some climate
> data.

Elevation data are available from USGS at varying resolutions, but how you 
want them smoothed for the zip code polygons is not given, it will be your 
choice. The polygons (but not for strictly postal zip codes) are on the US 
Census site for the US, I'm not aware of the correct address for Canada, 
but data are being released for administrative boundaries. Climate data 
may be available for download, but note that the point support for your 
zip code units doesn't suit climate either, really. Unless the met. 
stations are at your points, the values will be interpolated rather than 

Follow-ups to R-sig-geo, please.



Roger Bivand
Economic Geography Section, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of
Economics and Business Administration, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen,
Norway. voice: +47 55 95 93 55; fax +47 55 95 95 43
e-mail: Roger.Bivand at nhh.no

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