Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tips & Tricks:: Creating Maps of Multiple Addresses with BatchGeocode

I'm working on a project with one of my best friends from college where we need to map 600 addresses in a geographic "catchment" area.  The objective is to identify patterns of participation and determine any areas that need increases in marketing/outreach.  I'll post more on this later.  ArcView is out, so it's Web 2.0 to the rescue.  This is for internal diagnostic use, so using the Google Maps API would be overly complicated, so I'm testing Batchgeocode.  It takes data from a spreadsheet, looks up the address field, converts it to longitude/latitude coördinates, and creates a Yahoo! Map of the results.
In 2006, I wanted to create a map of WiFi hotspots in Berkeley, CA {above} & Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.  The stumbling block was geocoding the addresses into longitude and latitude, which often needed to be nudged a bit to get the map right.  Painstaking stuff.
Batchgeocoder makes it easy.  I took data from the WifiFreespot.com listings for California.  I cut and pasted the locations into a spreadsheet file.  I cleaned it up so the that these "location fields" were correct {minimum}:
  • Identifier {e.g., name}
  • Street Address
  • City & State {or Zip code}
I made sure the first row in the spreadsheet had headers like the ones above.  You can add more "map fields" that are summarized when users click on the marker or help to group the addresses.  Select the data and paste it in the window::

The default is tab delimited and you can download an Excel template on Batchgeocode.  "Validate the source" and then "run Geocoder."  That's it.  The addresses are markers on a Yahoo! Map.  You can save the map, which creates a link.  The link is active as long as it's accessed once every 30 days, otherwise it's deleted.  You may also create a Google Earth KML file.

Update:: Brooklyn Wifi map {click to open in new window}::

Does it work in Canada?  Why yes it does::

Twitterversion:: newblogpost:: #tips&tricks:: Creating maps of multiple addresses, quick & dirty, with #Excel & #BatchGeocode. @Prof_K

Song:: Voodoo Vocoder - Aural Vampire

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