TravelTime platform blog

The ultimate guide to creating a postcode map

Posted by Louisa Bainbridge on Jun 28, 2017 2:38:18 PM

Historically the most common use for postcodes has been sorting mail and planning a route from A to B. However, when combined with different metadata, postcode maps can provide a wealth of information to help optimise your business strategy.

How postcodes work

A full postcode is known as a postcode unit. This unit defines an area which contains a series of addresses. IA full postcode is made up of an area, district and sector. Characters at the front of the postcode refer to a larger area whilst the last few characters narrow the focus down to a small area or group of properties. 

Find the perfect postcode map for you

A postcode is a piece of data that is common to almost everyone in the UK. This allows businesses to engage in location analysis and market research, in order to discover gaps in the market and avoid competitors. Find out about all the possible ways to break down postcode data here. It also provides companies with the facility to visualise their data in a meaningful way, allowing them to better plan and make decisions. Here are our top 10 providers for creating a useful location map. 

Espatial

Postcode-overview-image.png

  • Best for: entry level map of postcode areas
  • Plot data from a spreadsheet onto a map
  • Plug into other software, such as Excel.
  • Analyse data with a range of analytical tools, such as heat and radius maps
  • Starting from $1200 per year

TravelTime Platform

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Pitney Bowes MapInfo Pro

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  • Best for: data visualisation and heavy-duty data processing for larger organisations
  • Interactive interface for thematic radial maps
  • Access to global geocoding
  • Compatible with existing IT
  • Starting from $1995 per year

Mapmarketing

Free UK Postcode Area Map.jpg

  • Best for: printed postcode maps
  • Printable postcode areas map as well as sectors or districts
  • Overlay postcode information onto existing map
  • Analyse data at area, district or sector level
  • Printed maps from £15 - £250

Mapline

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  • Best for: entry level map of postcode areas
  • Copy and paste data from spreadsheet (works with Excel only)
  • Visualise data by building customised maps
  • Ability to map competition by postcode area
  • Starting from $30 per month

Esri

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  • Best for: ready-to-use data sets to create maps on a national level (requires ArcGIS).
  • Geocoding to postcode level
  • Address matching and verification tool
  • Visualise data thematically to identify patterns
  • Starting from $7000 (for ArcGIS)

XYZ Maps

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  • Best for: printed postcode maps and consulting
  • Bundles of mapping software available
  • Bespoke mapping
  • Ready made maps with postcodes from £24.99

Batchgeo 

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  • Best for: processing large amounts of postcode data on a map
  • Create a map from a spreadsheet of postcode data
  • Group sets of data
  • Map open data
  • Starting from $99 per month

Open source maps

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  • Best for: interactive free maps
  • Open source data map
  • Zoom in and out to switch between postcode area 
  • Free to use

Map Room

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  • Best used for: exporting existing postcode maps to Illustrator and PDF so they can be included in other designs. 
  • Editable map bases for websites, brochures, books, magazines and apps
  • Vector format maps allowing designers to edit the shape, colour and size 
  • Interactive, animated radial map options available
  • Prices starting at £24.99 per map

More maps

Let us know if there are any providers you think should be in our ultimate list in the comments below. You can also create your own travel time map to customise your location data below - a more personalised and customisable alternative to the radius map. 

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Topics: radius maps, postcodes, TravelTime Analytics

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