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Location Column: Geocoding your data

The location column is a column within a Socrata dataset with the data type 'Location' . When address information is inputted into this column our platform uses a third party geocoding service to geocode this information into a latitude and longitude which can be plotted on a map. At least one successfully geocoded location column is required to create a map.

The following kinds of location information can be used to create a geocoded address -

  • A U.S. street address
  • Zip Code (can be geocoded individually)
  • City, State
  • Latitude and Longitude (if provided the dataset is already considered geocoded and will bypass our service. As a result, this doesn't need any of the other address information). 
    • Use: + for N Lat or E Long & - for S Lat or W Long.

For the most accurate geocoding results, we recommend including the address, city, state and zip code. 

Common Errors while geocoding:

1. Intersections: While it is possible to geocode intersections using our service, often times intersections do not have a precise address. This results in the location information given not plotting exactly in the right spot on the map. These are some best practices to ensure the most accurate plotted address:

  • The names should be spelled out fully. 
  • The connector should be a "&". 
  • Lastly, provide a zip code to narrow down your results.

2. P.O. Box and Apt/Suite numbers: We do not use this information for geocoding and if you include it in the address field the it will interfere with the geocoding, which will fail.

If you still want to include this information in your dataset, you could create an extra column specifically for this extra information and associate it with a plotted location in a point map as a flyout.
 
3. Metropolitan/Micropolitan Areas: The address must have the City, Country and a Latitude and Longitude provided, as our platform does not geocode this sort of information addresses.

Example: Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC (Metropolitan Area)

4. International Locations: Currently, we do not support international geocoding. Latitudes and longitudes must be provided for international addresses. If addresses are listed, they must include the city and country.

 
 
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Comments

  • Avatar
    Ben Andrews

    What steps need to be taken for an address to be recoded? Does the latitude and longitude need to be cleared if an address is modified?

    Is there any possibility of not returning a lat/lng if the match criteria is below a certain threshold. If a dataset has a poorly formed address the City/State or Zipcode is defaulted back to. Zipcode being less problematic than City/State.

  • Avatar
    Ben Andrews

    I can no longer edit my previous comment but SoQL within_circle queries are useful in identifying these points if anyone else is trying to cleanup their data

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