What is Geocoding?

Geocoding is fixing a point on a grid with a pair of coordinates, such as Latitude and Longitude, from an address or place name, to pinpoint an exact location on the earth’s surface.

Geocoding is the process of converting addresses (like a street address) into geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), which you can use to place markers on a map, or position the map. The focus of this document is to clarify considerations involved when geocoding addresses. It describes when it’s optimal to use the Geocoding API and when it’s beneficial to use the Places API Place Autocomplete service.


What is Geocoding used for?

Geocoding is used primarily for navigation such as driving directions or routing deliveries, but it can also be used to map addresses to Census Tracts or Blocks to easily get a detailed demographic data (population, race, age, income, etc.) about the neighborhood for business decisions like marketing budget allocations or selecting new physical locations for storefronts.

Geocode Address to Latitude and Longitude

Map Courtesy of Gooogle

How does Geocoding work?

Geocoding converts an address into spatial data and references that to the exact geographical coordinates using Longitude and Latitude. Spacial Data is data which is representative of a specific geographical location on the surface of the earth.
Your Address -> Address Standardization -> Address Locator -> Point on a Map

What is Reverse Geo-coding?

Converting geographical coordinates to a readable address.

What is GIS (Geographic Information System)?

GIS are programs that help users us/make use of spacial data. Such as management, manipulation and customization, analysis and creating digital displays.

Additional Geocoding Resources