An analysis of the process and results of manual geocode correction

Submitted: 26 October 2016
Accepted: 1 March 2017
Published: 11 May 2017
Abstract Views: 2015
PDF: 759
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Geocoding is the science and process of assigning geographical coordinates (i.e. latitude, longitude) to a postal address. The quality of the geocode can vary dramatically depending on several variables, including incorrect input address data, missing address components, and spelling mistakes. A dataset with a considerable number of geocoding inaccuracies can potentially result in an imprecise analysis and invalid conclusions. There has been little quantitative analysis of the amount of effort (i.e. time) to perform geocoding correction, and how such correction could improve geocode quality type. This study used a low-cost and easy to implement method to improve geocode quality type of an input database (i.e. addresses to be matched) through the processes of manual geocode intervention, and it assessed the amount of effort to manually correct inaccurate geocodes, reported the resulting match rate improvement between the original and the corrected geocodes, and documented the corresponding spatial shift by geocode quality type resulting from the corrections. Findings demonstrated that manual intervention of geocoding resulted in a 90% improvement of geocode quality type, took 42 hours to process, and the spatial shift ranged from 0.02 to 151,368 m. This study provides evidence to inform research teams considering the application of manual geocoding intervention that it is a low-cost and relatively easy process to execute.

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Supporting Agencies

US National Cancer Institute (U54CA164336 to CM Wheeler), UNM Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA118100 to YJ McDonald), Texas A&M College of Geosciences to YJ McDonald
Yolanda J. McDonald, Department of Geography, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Ph.D. Candidate

Michael Schwind, College of Science & Engineering, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX
M.S. Student,College of Science & Engineering
Daniel W. Goldberg, Department of Geography, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Department of Geography,Associate Professor
Amanda Lampley, Department of Geography, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Department of Geography, MS Student
Cosette M. Wheeler, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Professor

How to Cite

McDonald, Y. J., Schwind, M., Goldberg, D. W., Lampley, A., & Wheeler, C. M. (2017). An analysis of the process and results of manual geocode correction. Geospatial Health, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2017.526

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