Hints and Tips for Batch Geocoding

  • To ensure good quality and accurate geocoding results, you must use accurate data. If your map's address data is incomplete or out of date, your geocoding will not deliver the results that you want.
  • You can import the geocoded addresses onto a map. However, before you import the points, you must make sure that your address data set contains a variable named ID that has a unique value for each point.
  • The input address data set that contains the addresses that you want to geocode should contain variables for the street address, city, state, and ZIP code (and an optional ZIP+4 code) of the addresses to be matched. The address data set can also contain a name that is associated with the address, but the name is not used in the address matching. In order for the geocoding facility to most accurately parse the addresses, follow these guidelines:
    • Use only street addresses. Post office boxes, rural routes, grid addresses, and addresses with alphanumeric characters cannot be geocoded. An address containing a post office box or a rural route address in addition to a street address should not cause a problem.
    • The street number portion of the street address should not contain non-numeric characters. For example, an address such as 501-B Kent St will be matched to 501 Kent St., not to the full address containing the non-numeric character. Apartment numbers should be stored in separate variables rather than appended to the street number.
    • Use the following values for directional prefixes and suffixes, with no punctuation or spaces between letters:
      N S E W NE NW SE SW
    • Avoid using abbreviations that conflict with street name abbreviations. For example, do not use St John St. Use Saint John St instead. Spelling out Saint reduces chances for confusion.
    Note: The results from the geocoding are written back to the address data set, so you must have Write access to it or make a copy that you can write to.
  • You can create your own geocoding lookup data sets for specific areas of the United States by downloading and importing TIGER data from the U.S. Census Bureau. See Importing Spatial Data for more information.
    You can also download ready-to-use geocoding lookup data sets for the entire United States from the SAS Maps Online area at http://support.sas.com. After downloading and installing these data sets, you can use them to geocode any U.S. address.