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

You will need one of the following free API keys: Bing Maps API key (geocoding limit unclear), Google Maps API key (2,500 free requests per day), or MapQuest API key (15,000 per month)

  1. 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
  2. Open your CSV in Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac), so there are no columns and rows but comma-separated data
  3. Go to http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/geocoder/
  4. Copy your data from Notepad/TextEdit into the Input textbox (we recommend that you do this in batches instead of 1000 at once)
  5. In the Source dropdown, select which API key you have
  6. Copy that API key into the API key textbox below
  7. Click Start Geocoding
  8. Wait...it takes about one second per location
  9. Once the geocoding is complete, copy the contents of the Results as text box
  10. Paste the contents into a new Notepad/TextEdit document
  11. Save that document as a CSV (you may need to manually change the file extension when you save)
  12. Open the CSV in Excel to view and check your data in spreadsheet format. There will probably be errors, which is normal.
  13. 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

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.

Excellent geocoding instructions from our colleagues at uOttawa are found here: https://ssimpkin.github.io/dhsite2018/geocoding-spreadsheets/

GIS Lounge also provides similar instructions: https://www.gislounge.com/how-to-geocode-addresses-using-qgis/

Remember: you can always contact us at gis@carleton.ca.

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