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Geocoding Types Explained

Learn about all the ways you can geocode your data with CARTO.

Why do you need this?

  • :round_pushpin: You don't know the best way to geocode your data.

Whether you geocode your data by using the “Gecoding Analysis” in Builder, or with one of the Geocoding Functions available in the Data Services API, there are 7 different types provided by CARTO. This article will summarize each for you.

What is Geocoding?

Geocoding is the process of converting an address description (eg: the name of a city, a postal code, or a street address) into geographic coordinates that CARTO can visualize. In order to get insights from a map, the first step of most CARTO users is geocoding their data.

Latitude and Longitude

Generates location points using two parameter columns, one for latitude values and one for longitude values.

Cities

Generates location points using a single parameter column with city name values. For greater accuracy, you can specify a column to be used for the Administrative Region names, or alternatively, specify a column for country names.

In Builder: For both Administrative Regions and country names, you can enter custom values by typing in the name (if the data is within a single region or country. For example, manually type in and select United States).

Countries

Requires a single parameter column with country names to generate location border geometries as polygons.

Administrative Regions

Requires a single parameter column with administrative region names to generate location points. You can also specify a column to be used for country names (if all are unique).

In Builder: For country names, you can enter custom values by typing in the name (if the data is within a single region or country. For example, manually type in and select United States).

Postal Codes

If your dataset consists of a column with postal codes, this option geocodes those values to generate location points. Your input data must be a text column. You can also specify a column to be used as a country names, similar to the Administrative Regions option.

Learn more about this function in our Data Services API.

IP Addresses

Geocodes your data into point geometries for IP addresses.

Street Addresses

Geocodes your data into a point geometry for a street address. You can specify the column to be used for the street addresses, in addition to the columns to be used for the city, state and country.

In Builder: You can also specify custom fields using the Advanced Mode.