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Explore Geographical Relationhips in USPS Data with Power Map

Create data visualizations with USPS data in Power Map.

The CData ODBC Driver for USPS is easy to set up and use with self-service analytics solutions like Power BI: Microsoft Excel provides built-in support for the ODBC standard. This article shows how to load the current USPS data into Excel and start generating location-based insights on USPS data in Power Map.

Create an ODBC Data Source for USPS

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

To authenticate with USPS, set the following connection properties.

  • PostageProvider: The postage provider to use to process requests. Available options are ENDICIA and STAMPS. If unspecified, this property will default to ENDICIA.
  • UseSandbox: This controls whether live or test requests are sent to the production or sandbox servers. If set to true, the Password, AccountNumber, and StampsUserId properties are ignored.
  • StampsUserId: This value is used for logging into authentication to the Stamps servers. This value is not applicable for Endicia and is optional if UseSandbox is true.
  • Password: This value is used for logging into Endicia and Stamps servers. If the postage provider is Endicia, this will be the pass phrase associated with your postage account. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
  • AccountNumber: The shipper's account number. It is optional if UseSandbox is true.
  • PrintLabelLocation: This property is required to use the GenerateLabels or GenerateReturnLabels stored procedures. This should be set to the folder location where generated labels should be stored.

The Cache Database

Many of the useful task available from USPS require a lot of data. To ensure this data is easy to input and recall later, utilize a cache database to make requests. Set the cache connection properties in order to use the cache:

  • CacheLocation: The path to the cache location, for which a connection will be configured with the default cache provider. For example, C:\users\username\documents\uspscache

As an alternative to CacheLocation, set the combination of CacheConnection and CacheProvider to configure a cache connection using a provider separate from the default.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Import USPS Data into Excel

You can import data into Power Map either from an Excel spreadsheet or from Power Pivot. For a step-by-step guide to use either method to import USPS data, see the "Using the ODBC Driver" section in the help documentation.

Geocode USPS Data

After importing the USPS data into an Excel spreadsheet or into PowerPivot, you can drag and drop USPS entities in Power Map. To open Power Map, click any cell in the spreadsheet and click Insert -> Map.

In the Choose Geography menu, Power Map detects the columns that have geographic information. In the Geography and Map Level menu in the Layer Pane, you can select the columns you want to work with. Power Map then plots the data. A dot represents a record that has this value. When you have selected the geographic columns you want, click Next.

Select Measures and Categories

You can then simply select columns: Measures and categories are automatically detected. The available chart types are Stacked Column, Clustered Column, Bubble, Heat Map, and Region.