How To Geocode Members - Sync Members with Google Maps
The final and equally important step required for completing the importing process is Geocoding all of the recently imported listings. This way, the listing will become searchable by location using their address information.
Our location search engine is a Google Maps integration that needs to assign latitude and longitude information based on the location data imported in the CSV file. The Geo-coding tool will perform a search of the member's location data in the Google Maps search engine, based on the information available, the system will assign the most approximate coordinates to the listing.
Keep in mind that the accuracy of the member's location will depend on the amount of location information available in the import feed. For example, if a listing was only imported with vague location data like state and city, the system will place them in the geographic center of that city or state. On the other hand, if the member has a recognized and specific street address and zip code, the Google Maps search engine will be able to assign a more accurate set of coordinate data.
Important Note: Google Maps API integration needs to be completed on the site in order Geocode tool to work.
What fields need to be filled in order to geocode properly?
- address1 (to geocode members to a specific address, otherwise they will be geocoded to the zip_code, city, or state, based on what is available)
- state_name (optional)
- country_name (optional)
NOTE: It will work with either the state_code and country_code or state_name and country_name. However, if they have all the information, the system will geocode them correctly.
Recommended minimum fields:
NOTE: These are the minimum fields to geocode members (Google Maps will recognize locations with this information 99% of the time).
It will often also work with just address1 instead of city, or just zip_code instead of city as well.
To begin the Geocoding process use the following tool under the My Members >> Search Members section of the admin:
- Notice the red "Find Geocode" text next to the locations. These members are missing Latitude and Longitude coordinates.
The "Sync Members With Google Maps" button will open up the Batch Geocoder Tool:
There are three types of Geocoding options, each has a different level of specificity in regards to the accuracy of location assignment.
Essentially, the member's location information will be put through the Google Maps search engine which will perform a search, cross-referencing the location information with their location database. Based on the search, Google Maps will assign the latitude and longitude of the listing based on what Google Maps has on its location database.
Below is a description of each type of Geolocation option:
- Most Specific (slowest) - This will perform a search for all of the location variables included in the CSV file upon upload. **We recommend this option**
- Zip / Postal Code (faster) - This will perform a search for the zip code information found in the zip code column of the CSV import template.
- City (fastest) - This will run a search for the city variable in the city column of the CSV import template.
Please note: the Geocoding tool uses the information available in the CSV import file. The better quality and the more specific the location data is, the better results this Geocoding tool will render when assigning the Longitude and Latitude to each listing.
Depending on the number of members imported, as well as the Geocoding option selected, this process could take up to several minutes to complete.
If the location data on a specific listing is incomplete, misspelled, or "not official location name". The Geo-coder tool will display these as errors. This means the location information will need to be manually added.
A list of members with these errors is conveniently displayed on the right side of the Geocoding module as seen below:
The fields are all automatically populated based on the location entered inside the Address Bar:
Now all of the members have Latitude and Longitude coordinates: