Create a spatial database (in an Excel spreadsheet) containing typical business information. The first row of the file must be a header row with descriptive titles. The source of this file can be anything that is real. For example, use a list of government offices (e.g., office for tourism, military recruiters, or the IRS) for cities or counties. Or use locations of fast food restaurants, U.S. post offices, retail stores, or malls. It is highly recommended that you do not target an area larger than a county for your database entries. For example, your database could contain all of the fast food restaurants in Adams County, North Dakota.
Mix up the type of entities to be included. For example, if the file will be a list of fast food restaurants, include in the list several competing brands. If retail stores are chosen, use several different store chains. If government offices are to be used, use several types of government offices, such as tourism offices, post offices, jails, or municipal yards.
Include the following fields or columns of data
ID = A unique line number or identifier for each line entry. This is required by some software.
Name = First name, last name, or business name. This may be used as a label on a map to identify an entity.
Address = A real street address is required
City = Use the real city name.
State = Use the state name
ZIP Code = Use the five-digit ZIP code, not the Plus 4. Leading zeros may be dropped. For example, 02148 can be shown as 2148
Latitude = Use decimal location (e.g., 40.67)
Longitude = Use decimal location (e.g., 30.32)
Type = A unique code for the type of business. For example, Sears stores can be represented by S, Macy’s can be represented by M, and JCPenney can be represented by P.
There must be at least 20 lines of entries for this database. A useful website that will convert your addresses into latitude and longitude is http://www.findlatitudeandlongitude.com/batch-geocode/#.VTVl1dLBzRY
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