Geocode UK postcode Excel

Postcode Map Germany

The challenge and the background

Tableau automatically recognizes by default a set of geographic roles like countries, states, counties and postcodes in the underlying data. However, for countries outside the US, the level of detail is limited. In a dataset of Germany, for instance, Tableau only recognizes the names of the 16 states. German postcodes are not identified by Tableau.

For your understanding: German postcodes have 5 digits. Almost 8, 200 of them are geographic areas. Using only the first 2 digits of the postcodes divides Germany into 95 regions. That’s right, 95 not 99. 05, 11, 42 and 63 are unused or no geographic areas, but this doesn’t matter here.Warning message Import Custom Geocoding Most of the time it will be sufficient to use the first 2 digits for geographical analysis and visualization. However, sometimes people want to go one step further and look at the complete PLZ5 postcode. And here is our challenge: import 2 new geographic roles into Tableau: the 2 digit post code (called “PLZ2”) and the 5 digit postcode (called “PLZ5”).

Tableau offers a built-in feature to add further geographic levels of your data: Custom Geocoding. Custom Geocoding allows you to import a table that assigns latitudes and longitudes to any given geographical category.Germany PLZ2 CSV file In our example of German postcodes, we need an input file with the postcodes and their according latitudes and longitudes. More precisely we need 2 input files: one for PLZ2 and one for PLZ5. Importing such a file into Tableau as Custom Geocodes creates a new geographic role in Tableau. After a successful import, you can assign this geographic role to a dimension and let Tableau plot the data at this level on a map. No need to have the latitudes and longitudes in the source data anymore.

Set Geographic Role in TableauThat’s for the theory.

Now for the practice. I thoroughly read the Tableau Manual and the Tableau Knowledge Base, but it didn’t work straight away:

The problem – the regional settings

Of course I followed the instructions in the Tableau Knowledge Base article (Importing Numeric Geographical Roles) step by step. It turned out that the key to importing Custom Geocoding is a schema.ini file that configures the Microsoft Jet database engine. The Knowledge Base article recommends the following file (adapted to my data):

Col1="PLZ2" Text
Col2="Latitude" Double
Col3="Longitude" Double

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Popular Q&A

Excel UK Postcode Validation?

I need a formula or process in which i can ensure a correct UK postcode is enetered into an excel. Does anyone know a simple fomula i can use for validation of UK postcodes?

it's not really the right tool for the job - uk postcodes aren't derived from mathematical algorithms so you're going to need a database of valid postcodes for excel to check against either locally or online. this rules out the word 'simple' in your question.

How accurately does Google geocode UK postcodes using the maps api?

From my basic tests I think that it is only the first part, plus first number of the second part. e.g. SW1A 0 that are used for geocoding. Adding any more (SW1A 0AA) makes no difference to the returned lat lng values.

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