What is Address Geocoding?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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A geographic information system (GIS) is a software program that enables electronic mapping in cars and computer devices. GIS depends on address data to present information to the users of the system. Address geocoding is the process of marking addresses with latitude and longitude coordinates. This information is then mapped by satellites and used as coordinates and directions of GIS devices.

GIS data is typically collected manually by geocoded capturing devices. These devices are used in address geocoding. To capture this information accurately an individual must take a satellite GIS system and map the latitude and longitude of each collected address. This information is then stored in a GIS data repository where it can be used later by geospatial applications.

Many human services organization use address geocoding as a method of mapping third world countries, for use in keeping track of refugee camps and disease control. These groups are able to track specific address or landmarks with hand-held geocoding systems. This data provides a holistic view of famine areas to assist in providing support from relief agencies. Having correct coordinates helps to expedite service deployment into areas that have no logical mapping technology.


Address geocoding is also used in crime mapping. As crimes and crime-related data is captured by law enforcement officers, the address of the criminal activity can be mapped by location. The crime records typically include location attributes with a specific crime. This address geocoding data is input into the criminal record system, which allows GIS devices to map out locations by crime type.

Many colleges and universities have specialized address geocoding projects. These projects are designed to assist national studies in the areas of science. Many academic geocoding projects are based on managing wildfires, earthquakes, and global warming. By having address geocoding these domains can be managed in a more accurate manner.

Address geocoding assists emergency personnel in the event of an natural disaster. This data gives emergency service crews accurate information on homes and locations of critical infrastructure during an earthquake or natural disaster. It can be rolled into real-time data visualization software to accurately determine the casualties in an affected area. Additionally, roads can be mapped to determine the fastest route to an area.

Geocoding is becoming an important factor in daily life. Most geocoding is mapped into specific types of businesses. This provides GIS users with critical information on health care facilities, police departments, and emergency groups within a local jurisdiction. Geocoding is included in most smart phones as a method of looking up business by type.


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