Geocoding is the process of transforming a description of a location—such as a pair of coordinates, an address, or a name of a place—to a location on the earth's surface. You can geocode by entering one location description at a time or by providing many of them at once in a table. The resulting locations are output as geographic features with attributes, which can be used for mapping or spatial analysis. With geocoded addresses, you can spatially display the address locations and begin to recognize patterns within the information.
Geocoding Resources and Tools
ArcGIS Online World Geocoding Service: Global coverage, no limit but see below for information based on the number of addresses. Accessible through your SSO account to the UCSD ArcGIS Online organization. You can also access this through ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, or the browser-based ArcGIS Online.
Batchgeo: Free online tool to do basic geocoding. Once your information is geocoded, you can then use it for analysis or visualization in a GIS. The site also has a tool to calculate distances to multiple addresses from a single point.
Geocodio: US and Mexico, browser based, 2,500 addresses per month, must create account. Once your information is geocoded, you can then use it for analysis or visualization in a GIS.
Texas A&M Geoservices: US only, browser based, 2,500 addresses, then must purchase plan, must create account.
ArcGIS Pro / ArcGIS Map
ArcGIS Online World Geocoding Service: Global coverage, no limit but see below for information based on the number of addresses. Accessible through your SSO account to the UCSD ArcGIS Online organization.
Esri Streetmap Premium: North America only. Some helpful vocabulary for using Esri Streetmap Premium locators. This can be accessed from the computers in the Data & GIS Lab in the Library. The Library is also setting up the Enterprise access. If you need to access the Enterprise option, contact the GIS Librarian.
MMQGIS Plugin: The MMQGIS plugin lets users find the coordinates from a selection of addresses stored in a tab delimited txt file or a csv file. To use it, download the plugin first. Then select the “Geocode CSV with Google / OpenStreetMap” feature found under MMQGIS-->Geocode.
Geocoder: Simple and consistent geocoding library written in Python.
If you have a table of 50,000 addresses or less, the ArcGIS Online geocoding tools will work. ArcGIS Online uses credits, which are allocated to you as a member of the UC San Diego ArcGIS Online organization. You are provided a default number of credits (2,000). You can calculate how many credits you will use to geocode using the credits overview. Reach out to the UCSD Esri Site License manager or GIS Librarian if you need additional credits.
If you have sensitive data with HIPA or PII information, you will want to use one of the other options.
If you have a table between 50,000 and 2 million addresses, there are a few options for you. You can use the computers in the Data & GIS Lab or you can can reach out and request access to the Library's Geocoding service. Both the Lab and the Library's geocoding service use Esri's Streetmap Premium. Using the physical machines in the Lab enables you to geocode the addresses locally. The Library's Geocodng service runs on library servers.
Data & GIS Lab