Geocoding and how it works


Geocoding- Whether you’re working on a site analysis, strategic planning or targeted marketing campaigns, geocoding should be a key part of your mapping applications (GIS) because geocoding transform text-based address descriptions into geographical coordinates.

Find out everything you need to know with this guide, and ideas about what you can use geocoding for.

What is geocoding?

Also known as address geocoding, is the process of transforming text-based address descriptions into geographical coordinates. This can include anything from a standard street address to a general area name. The other direction, where geographical coordinates are converted into accurate text-based descriptions, is known as reverse geocoding. Simple as the feature may sound, accurate geocoding is a lot more than just getting an API key and entering a list of addresses. There’s a great deal of variability in accuracy.

Geocoding is a “data-driven” process, which we use to identify the location of customers, competition and even customers with specific characteristics. The results of this analysis are represented by points on a map that correspond to the connections' location, together with the classification of the company and other characteristic of the company or the account/customer.

How to make your customer data more useful

One way is to geocode it. By geocoding your customer information, you can take the names and addresses of your customers, and produce maps and analyses based on their locations. Once you have these locations, there are many ways that you can use them: from targeting specific clusters of customers to producing route maps and directions, aggregating geo-demographic information, defining your primary service area, and more!

The first steps in Geocoding

Determining a location for an address is the first step in the geocoding process. The geocoder must first break down an address into its individual components, which are then used to find its coordinates on a map. If an address cannot be parsed by the geocoder, i t will not be possible to find its coordinates.

Parced Address

The geocoder dissects the address into its address elements based on the style rules of that particular geocoder. For example, in the address 123 Main Street, 123 is a house number, Main is a street name, and Street is a street type. Geocoders can parse addresses differently depending on their style rules: some require all parts of an address to be present before it can be parsed and others might be able to parse partial addresses and then fill in missing information afterward.

The Results

If your input addresses are in a different language than the street address, the geocoder will check for matching results. The geocoder performs a best-fit translation of the language of your input address and then finds a match for it. Using language-specific rules, if no match can be found, the geocoder uses standard methods to find potential location candidates for you.

The geocoder scores each piece of the potential match by looking at the address elements and determining how accurate each part is. It also looks at other factors, such as whether a street number is misspelled or an abbreviation was spelled incorrectly. T he geocoder describes how it matched each address element using this information.

Geocoded Segment using GIS Analysis

What is Geooding used for?

Geocoding can be used in many different ways to improve business insight. Businesses can use the data to improve strategic marketing campaigns and develop the location, demographic, and spatial insights. In addition, you might find the need to geocode for compliance with federal regulations, site analysis, marketing, sales management, and more

For example, a business might want to create a store location plan for many branches or offices, but their addresses might all be stored in a text-based format. This can easily be done by formatting and geocoding their office or store location addresses in a single job. These accurate coordinates can then be used to create a store primary service area (PSA) or even an asset tracking solution further down the line.

Spatial Analysis

Geocoding addresses is a faster way to plot points of interest or customers and improves business insight significantly, revealing key trends and allowing for meaningful spatial analysis..

The coordinates are used by GIS applications to model and explore measuring distances, shapes, and the relationships between objects, events, and places by referring their locations to geographical positions (both live and historical). This can be used to establish correlations between objects such as building footprint locations in an earthquake, events such as routes of vehicles on a road network, and places, such as hospitals or buildings in the aftermath of disease interventions.

Visualizing customer segments

Once you’re done launching your first targeted marketing campaign, you’ll want to track the performance of your new campaigns and make tweaks along the way. Mapping offers an easy way to visualize different marketing segments and lets you know what’s working and what isn’t. Marketers prefer creating heat maps for these scenarios as they can easily color-code them for segmentation.

We use:

Hot Spot analysis or Heat Maps for these visualizations<

Gaps in your market

It can be difficult for businesses to find the optimal location for their next expansion or to identify areas with low customer penetration. Geocoding provides a way to parse addresses with the highest order amounts and frequencies so you can discover the most profitable areas. You could also use those coordinates to create a heat map that reveals key customer trends and make an informed decision and identify area with low customer penetration.

What is remarkable about geocoding is that, whether it’s for ecommerce or brick-and-mortar stores, it plays a key role in the success of many business decisions. Geocoding opens the door for businesses to analyze geographical data in a way that would simply be too time-consuming or inaccurate with text-based descriptions.

The Geocode Database is a powerful tool for anyone who needs to keep track of their customers and clients by location. The database allows you to easily keep track of all your contact information and it also lets you know where people live and work. This makes it easy for you to find out where people are located at any given time so that you can better serve them when it comes time for them to buy something from your business (or if they're just looking around).

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