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Welcome to the CDXZipStream August 2011 Newsletter

This month's newsletter highlights the different types of maps that can be created using versions of CDXZipStream that work with Microsoft MapPoint, including a soon-to-be-released drive time map that outlines the perimeter for a specified driving time around a zip code.  We also continue our series on how to access CDXZipStream functionality using Visual Basic for performing route optimization, and provide a tip for finding the closest zip code for large data sets. 


There are two new blog articles for August: 

- Finding the Closest Zip Code   

Creating Maps with CDXZipStream


The CDXZipStream versions that work with Microsoft MapPoint (MapPoint, Basic, Premium, and Premium ACDXZipStream Route MapCS) all have the capability to create different types of maps as picture objects in Excel.  These can be invaluable for visualizing a driving route or depicting a radius area around a location.  We're also about to introduce new functionality in CDXZipStream that will include the ability to map the perimeter of a drive time around a location.  For a quick tour of our current mapping capability, please see our YouTube video Map It in Excel.


Radius Mapping:  Use the right-click function CDXRadius to create a radius map.  Just input the target zip code and radius distance in either miles or kilometers, and specify "Insert Radius Map" as the resulting output.  (This function is also available in CDXZipStream Lite.)


Route Mapping: With the right-click function CDXRouteMP, specify the driving parameters (beginning and end points, route options, etc.) and select "Insert Route Map".  You can create a map for a simple route with beginning and end, or even for a more complex multi-stop route that has undergone optimization.   A route map is also automatically generated whenever you create a Trip Summary using the same function.


Location Mapping:  The right-click function CDXLocateMP is often used for address verification and geocoding, but can also generate maps of a specific location and its surroundings.  Just input the location or geographic entity (full address, county, state, or zip code) and specify "Insert Location Map".  


And finally, in the next few weeks we expect to introduce drive time mapping as an option in the CDXRadius function.  In this case you input the target zip code and radius time in minutes, and specify "Insert Drive Time Map" as the output.  The resulting map will show a polygon covering the area containing all those places that can be reached by road within the specified time from the target.


Route Optimization Using Visual Basic Code


This is part of our continuing series showing how you can use Visual Basic programming code to grab CDXZipstream data without entering a custom function formula into a worksheet cell.  This approach is faster for very large sets of data, with no delays associated with Excel recalculating a lot of formulas within a worksheet. Since VB works so quickly, it is used in all of our CDXZipStream templates available as free downloads from our website.   Let's review one more programming example that provides multiple data output in the form of an array: route optimization for multiple stops on a driving route.


For optimizing a set of stops using the normal custom function formula, the worksheet formula would be something like this, using the CDXRouteMP function::


In this case we are requesting the quickest route (the first parameter, "0'), and the list of optimized stops or waypoints (the second parameter, "8") as the output. We also list the worksheet range of input stops that are located in cells A1 through A10.

To do this easily in Visual Basic, just use the createobject statement to connect to CDXZipStream:


Set oAdd = CreateObject("CDXZipStreamCF.Connect")


Instead of using a worksheet range, we need to define a VB array that contains all of the stops on the route.  We can just loop through the stops located in the worksheet, like this:


For N = 1 to 10

Input_array(N) = Sheets(1).Range("A" & N & "")

Next N 


Use the newly defined Input_array to get the optimized list of stops:


Output_array = oAdd2.CDXRouteMPWrapper(0, 8, Input_array))


Then simply loop through the elements of the returned array to send the optimized stops back to the worksheet.


Also note that this approach can be used in Microsoft applications beyond Excel, such as Word, Access, or Sharepoint.  If you need additional programming support to make this happen, please contact us for a free quote at  


Tip:  Getting the Closest Zip for Large Data Sets


CDXZipStream has a built-in function called CDXClosestZip which identifies which zip code out of a list is the closest distance (as the crow flies) to a target zip code  For very large lists, we do recommend an alternative approach (available with our CDXZipstream MapPoint and Basic versions) that works in conjunction with Microsoft MapPoint.   In this case, an Excel matrix is set up for each zip code combination.  Using the function CDXLocateMP, the latitude and longitude of each zip code location is found (this process is called geocoding), then the function CDXDistance2WP uses this data to calculate the distance between each combination of zip code.  This approach is faster than CDXClosestZip since no database calls to get the zip code locations need be made once the geocoding is completed.  It's then very easy to use Excel's sorting function to find the closest distance to each target zip.  For more information, you can download a spreadsheet that applies this approach to a real-life car dealership location analysis.  


August Data Updates


CDXZipStream data feeds were updated as of September 6.  There was an unusually large number of changes (9,377) to the zip code database this month due to updated information provided by the USPS.  If you would like to update your database to reflect these changes, click on the "License Information and Software Updates" icon on the CDXZipStream toolbar, and select "Data Updates" to login to your account.  If you've forgotten your user name or password, please contact us at


We hope you find the information here helpful for you and your organization.  Please contact us with your feedback and suggestions by replying to this email.

The Team at CDX Technologies  

August 2011



Map of the World


In This Issue   


Creating Maps with CDXZipStream


Route Optimization Using Visual Basic Code


Getting the Closest Zip for Large Data Sets






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