GIS for the rest of us… or Another Excel-based Mapping Tool

A client recently asked us if we could help him find the five locations that have the most customers nearby. I dug into the annals of our blog to find two tools that together ("wonder twin powers activate... shape of mini-GIS solution") could solve this problem:

1. Juice geo-coding tool lets you get the precise latitude and longitude for a list of addresses and plot these locations in Google Earth.

2.ZIP code finder lets you enter a US address and returns zip codes within a certain number of miles of that address.

Led by our resident Excel guru David, we combined these features into an Excel tool that lets you answer common location-based questions such as:

  • How many libraries are within 10 miles of Worchester, MA?
  • Which cities have the most libraries within 10 miles? 20 miles?
  • Could I see the library locations on a map, please?

Here’s how it works:

1. Drop your location information into the "Geocode data" tab. We are using the Yahoo geocoding service.

2. Go to the results tab and fill in the table with your selected location addresses and distances. Press "Calculate."

Download the Excel file here: Juice Distance Tool

We had a couple other features in mind, but thought it would be better to get some reader reaction before we loaded it up.

This tool is released under the MIT license.