Content last reviewed:
This help guide will show you how to take a list of addresses and get latitude & longitude coordinates.
To begin, you will need your addresses (street address with city and country; just a city) in CSV or Excel format with one address per row. The address may be in one column or across multiple columns (e.g.: a column each for street, city, and country). Then consult the criteria below to find where you fit:
- I have a spreadsheet with less than 5,000 locations and each street address is split up across multiple cells
- GPS Visualizer (online)
- QGIS (desktop)
You will need one of the following free API keys: Bing Maps API key (geocoding limit unclear), or MapQuest API key (15,000 per month).
The Google Maps Geocoding API key is now pay-as-you-go.
- Ensure that your spreadsheet has the following column headers and is saved as a CSV:
- Header: name; content: name of the point (e.g.: business name, hospital, person who lives there, etc.)
- Header: address; content: street address (e.g.: 1 Main Street)
- Header: city; content: city
- Header: state or province; content: state or province spelled out (e.g.: Ontario instead of ON)
- Header: country; content: country spelled out
- Open your CSV in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac), so there are no columns and rows but comma-separated data
- Go to http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/geocoder/
- Copy your data from Notepad/TextEdit into the Input textbox (we recommend that you do this in batches instead of 1000 at once)
- In the Source dropdown, select which API key you have
- Copy that API key into the API key textbox below
- Click Start Geocoding
- Wait...it takes about one second per location
- Once the geocoding is complete, copy the contents of the Results as text box
- Paste the contents into a new Notepad/TextEdit document
- Save that document as a CSV (you may need to manually change the file extension when you save)
- Open the CSV in Excel to view and check your data in spreadsheet format. There will probably be errors, which is normal.
- You can now import that CSV into ArcMap (Add XY data), ArcGIS Pro (Add XY data), or QGIS (Add delimited text layer) and display the points
QGIS is a GIS desktop software that is free and open source. It is downloadable from https://qgis.org/en/site/ and we recommend downloading the long term release (most stable) version.
GIS Lounge provides instructions: https://www.gislounge.com/how-to-geocode-addresses-using-qgis/
Remember: you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.