Your own custom ZIPS, City Abbreviations, and other Special Info

After compiling a list of street names and theiraccompanying zip codes for your territory (as compiled from Census Bureaudata), we further compiled a list of each particular zip code with itsaccompanying city name, as specified by U.S. Post Office data.  As mentioned elsewhere, the city name connectionsmay, in some cases, be spurious (or perhaps missing completely).  We list them here to allow you to review thezip-to-city name connections, noting those that are in error (or missing), sothat you may enter appropriate corrections into your StreetList, using the easyprocedure described at page 291. 




For those city names presently included in theabove list, we have created ServiceDesk abbreviations (i.e., these are theabbreviations you'll presently see in your StreetList) to reference them, asfollows:


Obviously, you may want to reference this list if,while using ServiceDesk, it is not obvious while looking at any particularstreet name which city the accompanying abbreviation refers to (you may evenwant to make a photocopy of this page and keep it handy at your desk).  

Also, if you find that you'veadded new city names while correcting the zip-to-city name connections (listpreceding the above), it would be prudent to add those names (by writing themin), and the abbreviations you've created, to the above. 

Also in regard to customization, please bear inmind that your covered area needn't be static. For a reasonable fee, we can change your map to add new areas, or takeaway existing ones.  Just let us know ifyou have such changing needs. 

You may find it interesting, incidentally, to knowthat the process of producing your customized CityList, on-screen Map, andStreetList is quite involved (the originating data we purchase from the CensusBureau is not even remotely in the form needed for a finished product).  On average, it requires approximately 10hours of human programmer time along with nearly 90 minutes cumulativeprocessing time by a high speed office computer, all in a sequence of eventsthat encompasses at least 35 separate operations.  Obviously, such a process would not have beeneconomically feasible with earlier generations of computer hardware from just afew years ago.  We're glad they arenow. 

In your case, this formidable process yielded aStreetList consisting of N/A entries(i.e., one entry for any occurrence of a street name under a particular zip),along with a BlockList including N/Alistings (i.e., one entry for each approximately five-block segment of a streetwithin a given zip).  If you want to getsome idea of the quantity of data this involves, you can view your StreetListdirectly from almost any word processing program.  Just load the document entitled N/A.STR from your ‘\sd’ folder.  You could even edit it from a word processorif wanted, but it's critical to keep each line exactly 48 characters long, andto save the result in 'text-only' format. 

In regard to your on-screen DispatchMap, we’ve foundthat some folks thought we just took some existing, commercial map, andexcerpted out the portion that was needed for their territory.  This is not the case!  Every single element in your DispatchMap wasmanually drawn specifically for you.  Itwas created, as they say, “from scratch.” We do use commercial sources, of course, to determine where the variousgeographic features fit within your territory, but having made thatdetermination, every element (indeed, every point in every road, boundary orshoreline that’s drawn) is manually input so as to create the final file thatis your DispatchMap.  This is tedious andexhausting work.  We mention it so you’llhave some further appreciation for what was involved in creating your uniquepackage. 

If you like to tinker, by theway, it's also possible to view (and edit, if you wish) the particular filethat describes (so that ServiceDesk can display) all the features that make upyour DispatchMap.  In this case (andagain, using almost any word-processing program), just load the file called N/A.MAP.   Again, you should find it in your ‘\sd’ folder.  In terms of the layout there, line length isnot critical, and the functions of each line are, for the most part,obvious.  If you want to try changing oradding something (some people, for example, add in location references to showwhere each tech resides), go ahead.  Ifyou end up messing things up, just copy back over the original from yourinstallation CD. 

As mentioned elsewhere (seepage 287), it is our intent, increating your custom StreetList, to make one that mirrors the index section inyour own map book as closely as possible—particularly in regard to the streetnames included, and in regard to the grid references given for each (of course,we include city abbreviation and zip codes for each street, which your ownpaper index may lack).  In spite ofintense efforts to make the reproduction perfect, it is not.  Our system (given its independent source)will have produced a few street names not in your paper index, and certainly,the latter will contain entries not in the list we've produced.  There will also be variations, here andthere, in the grid references listed for particular streets (especially inrespect to streets that lie near the division between two grid sections, orwhich span across multiple sections). 

Still, and in spite of suchdifferences, the list we've produced should be of extremely high quality. 

If this degree of quality isnot sufficient to your needs; if, in other words, you want a perfect duplicateof the data in your map book's index, you certainly may attempt to obtain theunderlying data from your map book publisher. If you provide such data to us on a mere diskette (make sure it's inASCII format, containing street name, city, zip and grid reference for eachentry), we'll be happy to convert it to the ServiceDesk-needed format.  Ask us for the current fee for this service.