Center for Geographic Analysis Harvard University
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Address Geocoding at Harvard

Updated August, 2016.

Geocoding batches (over 2,500) of addresses costs money, and Harvard pays both ESRI and Google to access their batch geocoding services.  Below is 1) a matrix intended to guide you to the best geocoder to use given the location, number, of addresses, and reason for geocoding, and 2) instructions to use each geocoder.  For an explanation of what  geocoding is and best practices to follow, click here.

Instructions for using Batchgeo.
Instructions for using ArcGIS Online.
Instructions for using ESRI Business Analyst 2015.
Instructions for using Google Maps API for Work.

Some notes:

  • To produce the best geocoding match rate for large batches (thousands) of U.S. addresses, we have found it best to use ESRI Business Analyst 2015 initially, and then take addresses not found with this method and geocode them with the Google Maps API for Work.
  • The geocoding recommendations above are what we've found to be the most straightforward and easy to use.  However, there are many other geocoding services out there.  If you find any of them to be useful, please let us know.