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GIS & Geospatial Data Services

Geocoding Address Data

Overview of Geocoding

When looking for geospatial data online, it is quite common to find tabular data stored in a non-spatial format (CSV, XLSX, etc.) which contains a column of street address information but no other attributes indicating the geographic location for table record. While we know that each address refers to a specific location on Earth, the process of identifying this location can be surprisingly complex. Fortunately, GIS software applications have integrated geocoding functionality that makes it facilitates this process of locating street addresses. Geocoding is the process by which tabular data containing street address information is analyzed to determine the approximate geographic coordinates of each address so that they can be plotted on a map or analyzed using geospatial statistics. Compared to other common GIS data processing workflows, geocoding is relatively complex due to the fact that it requires that users make a number of important decisions that will affect the speed, cost, and accuracy of the process. There are a variety of GIS software options that can be used to geocode data and even if you select a particular GIS application to work with you still might find yourself in a scenario where there are multiple ways to determine address locations.

Using an ArcGIS Address Locator in ArcGIS Pro

In order to select this local address locator instead of the default ArcGIS Online address locator you just have to click the folder icon and then navigate to the location of the Texas address locator on your system. The documentation for the ArcGIS Pro Geocode Addresses tool is found at in case you have questions about any of the other tool parameters.

Texas Address Locators

The UT Libraries Research Data Services team has created ArcGIS compatible address locators for the state of Texas that were developed using publicly shared street address range data from the US Census Bureau. You can visit to download these address locator files. After you download an address locator and uncompress the file you should then be able to use the Geocode Addresses tool in ArcGIS Pro to select the locator and process your address spreadsheet.

Using the ArcGIS Online Geocoding Service

As of July 2022, all UT ArcGIS Online accounts have geocoding capabilities enabled by default which will allow you to use the ArcGIS Online service credits allocated to your account for geocoding purposes. Please keep in mind that 4 credits are consumed for each 100 addresses that are geocoded (see for full details about credit usage) so please manage your geocoding operations with this in mind. For help with the geocoding process, please visit where you fill find detailed instructions for geocoding a CSV with address information in ArcGIS Online.

Geocoding Questions?

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Alex Marden

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