A Brief Introduction to Geocoding¶
In a GIS, geocoding is the process of transforming various place name descriptions into a location on the earth's surface. For successful geocoding operations there are necesary component technologies that must meet certain requirements before a place description can be properly located. The ArcGIS Desktop Geocoding Documentation explains the necessary components to successfully complete geocoding operations. It also outlines Essential geocoding vocabulary to help you succeed in using the geocoding classes and functions in the ArcGIS API for Python geocoding module.
Geocoding Module Types and Functions¶
Your GIS provides access to The World Geocoding Service by default. The geocoding module provides a
Geocoder class to interact with that service. You can also construct
geocoder objects from your GIS's custom geocoding service items or from the url to a geocoding service. In addition, the
get_geocoders function returns a list of
geocoders accessible in your GIS.
Geocoders have numerous properties accessed through
geocoder.properties. These properties specify the types of information the
geocode function accepts as input, and the structure of the outputs when performing geocoding operations using a particular geocoder. A
geocoder's properties also define any limits or requirements established by the underlying locator.
Place name descriptions can be located one at a time, or in a batch. The
geocode function locates one description at a time (see
findAddressCandidates documentation for reference), while the
batch_geocode function locates multiple descriptions (see
geocodeAddresses documentation for reference). The batch function consumes credits, so it's important to discern how you will perform geocoding.
reverse_geocode function outputs the address at a particular location on the earth. The
suggest function returns matches for partial descriptions and underpins typeahead style suggestions in many client applications. The underlying service determines whether a
geocoder supports this function. See the Create Address Locator help document for further details.
Refer to the remaining sections of this guide for examples of how to use the
geocode function and GIS
geocoders to locate descriptions and then visualize or analyze the outputs.
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