GPS Visualizer's Address Locator

Convert multiple addresses to GPS coordinates

NOTE: You'll need to get your own free API key to process addresses using this page. (Get a key: Bing, MapQuest, Google)


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Google Map of your locations:

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output format:
[more map options]

To use this free utility, simply enter addresses in the box to the left, one per line, and click "Start geocoding" to find their latitude and longitude. If your data is in a tabular format with a descriptive header at the top of each column, choose "tabular" for type of data (and make sure the headers make sense!). If you have a raw jumble of address data, that's okay too; choose "raw list mode," but be aware that everything should at least look like an address, and any non-address data such as names, descriptions, or other fields might confuse things.

You can choose from three different sources of coordinates: Bing Maps, MapQuest, or Google. Each has their pros and cons, but none of them is guaranteed to be 100% correct -- use them at your own risk!

Also note that if you try to geocode thousands of addresses, you will probably end up with blank results after a while, because the provider will decide that you're trying to process too many addresses in a short time. If that happens, it's a sign that you should be looking into commercial geocoding services. (Or at least break your data into smaller batches.)

What this page is for

GPS Visualizer's primary function is mapping and converting GPS data; it was never intended to be a geocoding site. However, over the years many people have found GPS Visualizer to be useful with address-based data as well, so this page was created as a convenient way to bridge the gap between addresses and true coordinates. After you add latitudes and longitudes to your waypoints/addresses/POIs, you should be able to use them with GPS Visualizer's "normal" input forms.

How it works

Many mapping sites provide a geocoding "API" -- a way for other programs to quickly and easily access their services using JavaScript-On-Demand (JSON) code that is run by your Web browser. However, the APIs only allow a limited number of queries, based on your "key": usually a few thousand per day. For most individuals, that's more than enough, but if all of GPS Visualizer's users were allowed to geocode as many addresses as they want, the quota would be reached quickly. That's why there's a slot where you can enter your key, giving you access to nearly unlimited lookups without having to do any programming.

When you geocode addresses using this page, your input data never gets sent to GPS Visualizer's server (unless you produce a map or GPX file after processing). The transaction is entirely between your browser and the geocoding provider (Google, Bing, or Mapquest).

Verifying strange results

Sometimes the geocoder returns coordinates that don't seem right. For example, if you enter nothing but "CO", you might get Colombia rather than Colorado; adding ", US" to the end should take care of that. Another common source of errors (aside from missing, misspelled, or poorly-aligned header rows) is non-street addresses that look like addresses, like P.O. Boxes or named buildings. For example, "200 Jackson Building, 333 2nd Street" might be interpreted as "200 Jackson Street." There's really no way to get around this, other than ensuring that your "address" column contains actual street addresses.

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