Analysis Guides

Visualize Country Borders and IP Addresses

This guide describes how to apply the Countries and IP Addresses geocode analysis to transform data into geometries that can be visualized.

CHEATSHEET: Geocode Types

The following types of location text can be geocoded and applied to your 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. 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), or alternatively, type in the custom country name.
  • 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. For specific details about how CARTO geocodes US zip codes, see the Postal Code Geocoder section in the Data Servies API documentation.
  • IP Addresses: Geocodes your data into point geometries for IP addresses. This is useful if you are analyzing location data based on a set of user’s 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. You can also specify custom fields using the Advanced Mode.

The Geocode analysis is subject to quota limitations and extra fees may apply. Please request a demo if you are interested in enabling this service for your account.

  • If a map layer contains raw country data, (where the connected dataset contains a column with country values but the the_geom column has no coordinates), the connected layer may appear empty. The Countries geocode analysis geocodes your country values and transforms them into country borders, represented by polygons.

    Your data must contain either the English name of a country, or the local government endonym. Additionally, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) codes are recognized (such as ISO2 or ISO 3); where each country is represented by two or three letters.

  • A public IP address is a globally unique address assigned to identify a computing device. Public IP Addresses might be used to locate a group of internet users. If a map layer contains raw IP addresses (where the connected dataset contains a column with IP Address values but the the_geom column has no coordinates), the connected layer may appear empty. The IP Addresses geocode analysis geocodes your values and transforms them into point geometries.

When you import data into your account, CARTO automatically includes “intelligent guessing” functionality during the import process. This enables CARTO to read and populate the columns in your dataset when files are missing required upload information. This is also helpful as it can geocode data for some values if geometries are missing. In some cases, you may want to disable this feature if you want to enforce a certain column type or geometry.

Preparing Data

For this guide, suppose you are a technology company that provides a digital service and you want identify where to expand marketing opportunities based on internet use. You also want to avoid any computing devices that are known as threats; meaning you want to block any IP Addresses that have been identified as spam.

Two datasets were manually created, and will be provided for this example.

By default, the import guessing functionality automatically geocodes our raw country data; since Builder is able to recognize country names and ISO names!

For this example, let’s remove import guessing during the import process and geocode this data into geometries that can be visualized.

Remove Import Guessing

CARTO automatically includes guessing functionality during the import process, which is useful when files are missing required upload information, such as raw country data. Raw country data might be a table of information, but without any location coordinates. For example, a table of birth rates (by country rankings) that you created based on information provided from Wikipedia.

country | rate
Angola | 20%
Australia | 21%
...
  1. From Your maps dashboard in CARTO, click NEW MAP.

  2. Browse (or click and drag) the template_blocked.carto file, which is packaged from “Download resources” of this guide.

    Click on “Download resources” from this guide to download the zip file to your local machine. Extract the zip file to view the file(s) used for this guide.

  3. Before connecting the dataset, deselect the Let CARTO automatically guess data types and content on import checkbox.

Remove import guessing

Why remove import guessing? Since this example contains datasets that were built from scratch, the_geom column contains no values and requires geocoding. When sharing .carto files however, Builder automatically geocode values during the import process. For the purposes of reproducing the behavior as if you created your own dataset, remove import guessing during the import process.

  1. Click CONNECT DATASET.

    Builder opens with Internet Users by Country as the first map layer and Blocked IP Addresses as the second map layer. Both layers indicate that need to be geocoded.

    Country layer with no geometries

  2. Switch to the Data View for either map layer, the_geom column contains null values, which indicates that the type of geometry is not identifed.

The Data View and Map View appear as buttons on your map visualization when a map layer is selected. Click to switch between viewing your connected dataset as a table, or show the map view of your data.

Let’s transform our values into geometries by applying the Geocode analysis.

Geocode Country Values into Polygons

Geocode country values to visualize how data is transformed into country borders.

  1. From the Internet Users by Country map layer, click GEOCODE.

The ANALYSIS tab opens with the GEOCODE analysis already selected.

  1. Apply the following parameters.

    • Select Countries as the Geocode TYPE.
    • For the COUNTRY option, select regionname. (This column contains the values that will be used to create geometries).
    • Click APPLY.

If you switch the Data View, the_geom column indicates that polygon geometries have been created for your values!

Analysis results data view

Display IP Addresses as Point Geometries

  1. From the LAYERS list in Builder, click the GEOCODE button on the Blocked IP Addresses layer.

  2. Select IP Adressess as the Geocode TYPE.

  3. Select the column name to be used for the IP Addresses option. For this example, select the ip_addresses from the dataset.

  4. Click APPLY.

    If you switch the Data View, the_geom column indicates that point geometries have been created for your values.

    Download the final .carto file, packaged from the “Download resources” of this guide, to view how missing geometries was transformed into countries and IP Addresses. The final map also includes an additional Filter by layer analysis to filer the blocked IP Addresses by country and also includes some widgets.

Geocoder Functions with the API

If you are a developer and have access to the CARTO Engine’s to manage your data, view the Country Geocoder Functions and the IP Addresses Geocoder Functions that can be applied with the Data Services API.