Geocoding in Google Refine
What steps will reproduce the problem? 1.Address column, edit column, add column by fetching URL 2.Enter expression: + escape(value, "url") What is the expected output? What do you see instead? Expected to see the JSON output, but see: "Connection timed out: connect" What version of the product are you using? On what operating system? Version 2.0 [r1836], WinXP Please provide any additional information below. As an aside, after entering the JSON expression, in the preview window you can see the geocoding URLs the application is trying to call. If I highlight these URLs and say 'go to URL', the correct JSON information is retreived. This is through a corporate firewall and web proxy, maybe there are some issues with ports.
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Probably Tiger Line
The US Census has a free database called TigerLine. It's not always accurate. I've worked with it and field surveyed some glaring anomalies.
Now, I'm not sure MapQuest and MSN Maps are derived from TigerLine, but chances are they are. I recall researching some commercial geocoding services that purportedly enhance the accuracy of TigerLine.
If you email me your address, I could check the TigerLine for the bay area and see if the anomaly you noticed correlates.
If you're in the Castro or UpperMarket, I could help you with a very accurate map. My maps are based on the San Franciso GIS Department's CAD maps.
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What alternatives to Google exist for geocoding?
I am just starting to experiment with simplegeo ($9/month) for geocoding and some other useful features.
Check out yahoo place finder for a free geocoding service