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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

What is Geocoding?

Geocoding ResultsGeocoding is the process of transforming location information (e.g., street addresses, place names, etc.) into geocoordinate data (e.g., latitude/longitude) that can be plotted and symbolized on a map.

Reverse geocoding is the process of taking latitude and longitude values from a map layer and converting them into street addresses or place names.

Online Geocoding Tools

There are a number of browser-based geocoding tools that can be used if your research project doesn't include sensitive data (e.g., HIPAA, personally-identifiable data, etc.) If you are working with sensitive data, we recommend that your create your own address locator to run within a secure environment.

Desktop Geocoding Tools

ArcGIS Pro / ArcMap

QGIS

Creating an Address Locator in ArcGIS

To geocode, you will need to have access to an address locator with the appropriate reference data. The following resources can help guide you through the process of creating an custom address locator for geocoding.

Adding X,Y Data

What is Georeferencing?

Georeferencing is the process of assigning x, y coordinates to a raster file, such as an aerial photograph, scanned historical map, etc. so GIS software can place the resulting georeferenced file in its specified location on a map. The georeferencing process involves assigning control points to the raster image and matching them to control points on an existing georeferenced data set.

Maps & Gazetteers

Looking for maps or gazetteers? Check out our Maps, Atlas, and Gazetteers guide.