Geocoding with Google Maps and Igor

Aren't familiar with geocoding? Geocoding is the act of converting an address to a geographic location (latitude, longitude, etc.). Mapping services like Yahoo, MapQuest and Google geocode. Google maps provides a programmatically method for geocode addresses.

Below is a simple function that requires the easyHttp XOP to geocode a list of addresses.

Using Igor and exporting the geocoded data to XML, I created a Google maps web page for my postal history collection (link here).

// Function Uses Google maps to return latitude and longitude of an address
// Requires: easyHttp XOP
// Geoff Dutton March 5, 2009
Function GeocodeWithGoogle( )

    Make /o/n=6 lat = 0, long = 0
    Make /o/n=6 /T city, state
    city = {"Denver", "Los Angels", "Boise", "Pensacola", "Dallas", "1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington"}
    state = {"Colorado", "California", "Idaho", "Florida", "Texas", "DC"}
    String Win = "Geocode"
    Dowindow /K $Win
    Edit city, state, lat, long
    Dowindow /C $Win

    String url, GmapOutput
    Variable i
    for (i=0; i<numpnts(lat); i+=1 )
        // only Geocode if lat = 0
        if ( lat[i] == 0 )
            // build a URL for Google maps
            Sprintf url, ",%s&output=csv&quot;, city[i], state[i]
            // replace spaces in URL with unicode
            url = ReplaceString(" ", url, "%20")
            // use easyHttp to contact Google maps, Google maps returns lat, long encoded text
            easyHttp url
            GmapOutput = S_getHttp

            // create a list from returned Google text
            GmapOutput = ReplaceString(",", GmapOutput, ";")
            // Google returns 200 if address was found
            if ( str2num(StringFromList( 0, GmapOutput)) == 200 )
                lat[i] = str2num(StringFromList(2, GmapOutput))
                long[i] = str2num(StringFromList(3, GmapOutput))
                Printf  "%s, %s is located at %.5f, %.5f\r", city[i], state[i], lat[i], long[i]
                Print "ERR: " + city[1] + ", " + state[2]
            // slow down a little (for googles' servers)
            Sleep /T 1/10

glad easyHttp is useful.

A couple of other things could be done here, but they are all gilding the lily. There is also an XOP on this site called base64, amongst other things this does URLencoding.

You could do:
//make sure URL is sensible
url = URLencode(url)

Also, easyHttp can put the output directly into strings, instead of creating S_getHttp. For example:

easyHttp url, GmapOutput
 print "Attempted download failed"
XMLutils and openstreetmap.

I was thinking a little bit more about this. First of all there are a couple of utilities on this site to deal with XML, one of them is the XMLutils XOP. Secondly I was musing on how to use an IGOR function to get a map of your locality. One way would be to use the snippet you wrote to get a lat and long from an entered address. Then one could use that lat and long to get an exported PNG map from (I haven't worked out how to do the same with google maps). This could then be displayed in IGOR.




Igor Pro 8

Learn More

Igor XOP Toolkit

Learn More

Igor NIDAQ Tools MX

Learn More