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A Beginner’s Guide to Geocoding: What is Geocoding?

A Beginner’s Guide to Geocoding_ What is Geocoding_

What is Geocoding?

Geocoding is the process where you transform the description of a location, such as its pair of coordinates, address, or name to a location on the surface of the earth. Geocoding can be achieved by entering the location description one at a time or by providing it multiple times at once in a table. The resulting locations are outputted as geographical features with attributes, which can be used for mapping or spatial analysis. 

Geocoding allows you to find many different types of locations such as points of interest, names from a gazetteer (mountains, stores, bridges, streets), coordinates based on latitude and longitude, or other reference systems such as the Military Grid Reference System or the US National Grid system, addresses in all sorts of formats and styles, homes with street names, and postal codes. 

It can be used for many different applications ranging from data analysis to distribution techniques. You can spatially display the address locations and recognize patterns within the information. 

Some geocoding applications include customer data management, address data analysis, distributed geocoding applications, and general distribution. 

How Does Geocoding Work?

Geocoding works through two main components—the reference data set and the geocoding algorithm. The process can vary, but in general, the steps it follows are:

  1. Inputting data. Data includes the list of addresses that you would like to geocode. 
  2. Input data is then classified into relative or absolute input data. Relative input data is not specific enough to be geocoded. It is preliminary data along the lines of “the building with the red tiles across the White House.” Unlimited input data can be geocoded and turned into a list of coordinates. 
  3. Unlimited input data is taken and geocoded through a tool or software or a service provider such as BatchData
  4. Coordinates are created. 

Why Geocoding is Beneficial

Geocoding has many different applications that can serve businesses and organizations very well. 

  • Geocoding addresses display locations on a map, letting you recognize geographic patterns within a certain vicinity. For example, businesses, law enforcement, and scientists can use this data for their purposes. 
  • It allows customer data management by providing a map of a business’s customer locations. This will help them create localized and targeted marketing strategies or provide location-based service to clusters of customers. 
  • Analyzing address data utilizes geocoding. You can track population growth in an area and use the information in many ways. Government agencies can use geocoding to create new infrastructure and assist the growing population with resources and amenities. 

Geocoding with BatchData

BatchData geocoding solutions offer the highest level of geocoding in the industry. We have helped companies convert address data into geocodes that allow proper marker placement and geospatial applications. We have several levels of data quality ranging from Zip Code level to rooftop geocoding. 

  • Zip Code Geocoding is the broadest range of geocoding available, and it maps the location of the Zip Code and helps determine geographical locations and city boundaries. This is used for USPS sorting and geographically-based marketing campaigns. 
  • ZIP+4 Geocoding is more precise and offers block-level accuracy, providing an area of 10-20 homes/locations. Companies can get more accurate data mapping locations for data visualization and analysis. 
  • Parcel Centroid Geocoding is the most widely used service and offers companies the highest tier of accuracy. The data is calculated at the center of the parcel and gives businesses and analytics companies precise parcel-level data accuracy. 
  • Rooftop geocoding is the most accurate geocoding available in the market, which is ideal for companies that deal with risk exposure (like insurance companies) so that they can determine the actual distance to high-risk proximities like flood zones.
  • We also offer reverse geocoding in which we take the latitude and longitude as input and convert it into an address, which can ideally be used by first responders, software platforms, government and healthcare, and marketing companies. 

We pride ourselves on our precision. Our precisely plotted coordinates improve logistics and drastically decrease shipping costs. We offer real-time geocoding, flexible delivery solutions using our robust APIs and easy-to-use online interfaces, and with our batch geocoding API, you can get bulk results quickly. We can help you append missing data to your list.

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Austin Proctor

Austin Proctor

Technical Writing Manager @ BatchData

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