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GIS, Space and Open Web Mapping

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Group to discuss challenges, hacks, questions, and discussions regarding the use of spatial tools for digital archaeology

Geocoder, geocoding place names

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Neha Gupta 5 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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  • #368

    Neha Gupta

    Happy New Year!

    I’m working on a csv with roughly 2500 site/place names in India, reported between 1953 and 1960. Coordinates were not included in the source, only place name (can be arch site, village name, sometimes distance from populated place), 2nd-level administrative unit, state name. I want to geocode the sites with long, lat coordinates. I’ve been using the following geocoder:

    (1) every other site (or so) is not in the geonames database
    (2) multiple places in India with the same name in different parts of the country
    (3) administrative unit (eg. district, and state-level) can help narrow down (2) BUT admin units also reorganized > renamed, carved up, etc.
    (4) would like to automate geocoding and still hopefully have decent accuracy (or at least know how inaccurate!)

    Happy to try other tools, methods. Any suggestions?



    A.L. McMichael

    Hi, Neha.
    I wish I had something helpful to recommend, but mostly I just wanted to say thanks for reminding me about It just helped me figure out how to put together a little map of geographic features that I’ve been using a clunky plug-in for. Now I can use CartoDB or something similar. Thank you!
    I don’t think it will solve your problem, but might offer some inspiration?
    Alice Lynn


    Neha Gupta

    Thanks Alice Lynn. what3words is inspiring 🙂




    Brian Geyer


    You might look into how to use geopy with your data:

    MapMyIndia also has a geocoding feature, though I’m not sure how easy it would be to run your data through it en-masse:


    Neha Gupta

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the link to geopy. I haven’t tried geopy yet, but I am familiar with the geocoder services it can call.

    MapMyIndia has been useful because it has good coverage of village names, which is what archaeologists seem to have referred to most often. No street names here! Will give it a go.

    I have about 200 place names with coordinates that I searched for manually. This is about 10% of the full set (2365) and will work as my test group. If the geocoder returns very different coordinates for this subset, at least I will know the accuracy and can move on to another. This leaves room for calculating the accuracy as well.

    Most likely, I will run the cleaned csv through the QGIS geocoder first. Then geopy. I will see whether I can figure out mapmyindia’s api for group geocoding. More to come on this.


Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

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