Geocoding match type
Before proceeding with the lab, read the ArcMap help files on "About Address Locators, " "The Geocoding Process, " and "Address Locator Settings."
You will need the following data for this lab. Right click here to download them into a zip file, and use unzip to place them in your workspace. When you are done, you should have the following files:
Geocoding Data. Geocoding data involves conflating tabular data with spatial data to establish the geographic locations of records in the table. As you will see in this lab, geocoding algorithms have their limitations. You will have an opportunity to refine your data and set certain preferences, but not others.
Address Matching. Address matching is a special type of geocoding algorithm that pinpoints an address on a street network. The geocoding algorithm finds an address based on certain assumptions. Typical assumptions, and those used in this lab, are that all blocks are numbered 1 to 100, that the even numbers fall on the right side, and the odd numbers fall on the left side of the street. It also assumes that the parcels are evenly spaced. We will consider situations in which these assumptions lead to good matches and poor matches.
Batch versus Interactive. Addresses are listed in many ways, and even the same address may be listed differently in two different databases. In this lab, you will set geocoding preferences to give some guidance in how the address is parsed. After the preferences are set up, geocoding is performed either automatically or interactively. As you will see, matching is not particularly good in many areas, and interactive matching is almost always necessary. In the best of circumstances only about 75% of addresses will match when geocoding automatically.
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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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