Geocoding - What is it and how do I do it?

In this workshop we will introduce you to the basics of geocoding. We will demonstrate different ways of performing geocoding and extensively discuss the pros and cons of the different approaches.

This is a hands-on workshop and we will provide the sample data and workstations for you to follow along. You should have some basic knowledge of ArGIS. Familiarity with some scripting (like Python or R) is helpful, but not required.

Students, researchers, faculty and scientists who regularly work with geospatial data are encouraged to attend this workshop. You will gain hands-on introductory experience with many geocoding packages and services available to you at Stanford and beyond. 

When: Thursday August 15, 1:30 - 4:30pm

Where: Branner Library, Mitchell Earth Sciences Building, 2nd floor (GIS Lab)

Please register here:


1. Introduction to Geocoding

- Definition

- Process

- Challenges

2. Basic Geocoding: Using Out-of-the-box Tools

- Google Earth

Latitude longitude example: 36.270421, -121.807976

- Google Earth Pro

  Exercise: Batch geocoding graffiti locations in San Francisco.

  Download data here

  Download graffiti logo here

- Fusion Tables

  Exercise: Geocoding graffiti locations to make an interactive map.

- ArcGIS Desktop

  - Basic geocoding in ArcGIS

  - Preparing your data

  - Standardize Addresses

  - Selection of Address Locator

  - Geocoding addresses

  - Rematching addresses

  - Geocoding places

  - Composite geocoding

  - Geocoding intersections & spatial locators

  - Improving geocoding performance:

    * Increase cache size

    * Multi-threads

    * Match with no zones

- ArcGIS Online

  Demonstration of services

3. Intermediate Geocoding: Basic scripting using APIs

- Geocoding Services and APIs

- The Google Geocoding API

- Basic Structure of a Script

- Using Google Geocoding API with R

- Using Google Geocoding API with Python

- Open Street Map API


4. Web-based services, Map24, ThinkGeo, Geocoda


5. Resources and Discussion

- Comparison of Services

- Q&A

- Useful links


Patricia Carbajales
      Geospatial Manager, Stanford Geospatial Center, University Libraries
Claudia Engel Academic Technology Specialist, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology and Stanford Libraries

Links, Materials, References

Geocoding Services:

Comparisons of Geocoding Services:

Google Geocoding API documentation:
OpenStreetmap Geocoding API documentation:

R geocoding package (ggmap)

Python geocoding packages

ArcGIS Resources:

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 Google Earth and Fusion Tables
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 Presentation Slides
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 Scripting and APIs
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