The relationship between postal codes and latitude and longitude has only recently come into the public domain (see www.freethepostcode.org). This has been something of problem for users of GIS software.
Here are two ways to plot UK postcode data on a map in MapWindow.
- Method 1 is probably the easiest.
- Add the google Geocoder plugin by clicking on Plugin in MapWindow and selecting google geocoder.
- Add addresses and the points should be generated on your map. A bit more detail here. http://www.mapwindow.org/phorum/read.php?2,7770.
- Generally seems to work quite well, but was hanging when coping with larger amounts of data. The main problem is that it is limited to 2000 postcodes a day. A bit of a problem if you have a very large dataset.
Method 2: A work around using a free utility called batchgeo.com www.batchgeo.com
- Paste your data from excel into the area indicated on their website.
- (Optional) Validate data—good idea to check that the part it thinks is your postcode data really is.
- Press ‘Map Now!’
- You will be given the option of a public map or a private one just for you. If you give your email address you can edit your map later.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on save as google earth .kml file. NB: It took my ages to find this bit!
- Save the .kml file to your hard drive.
- Map Window does not read .kml or. kmz, so you will need to convert your .kml file to a shapefile (.shp). You can do this online at http://www.zonums.com/online/kml2shp.php, but I’m sure that there are other converters.
- Save you .shp (and the partner files it generates to your hard drive.
- Go back to MapWindow and Add layer selecting the shapefile you have just created.
I’m sure that someone has been able to find another way of doing all, but these are the ways I managed to get it done.
The yellow symbols on the map above are the locations of the Links into Languages lead universities. Click to see it more closely.