Main Article Content
Geocoding converts street addresses to latitudes and longitudes and can be used to link spatial information to existing databases. Geocoding services universally designed for multiple countries do not always produce optimal results for Australian addresses and can be costly and difficult to use without specific knowledge/experience. Limited matching information is often provided, making it difficult to assess geocoding accuracy.
Objectives and Approach
New technology was required for address geocoding due to limitations of current geocoding methods such as a failure to incorporate the structure of Australian addresses. Software was developed for high accuracy address geocoding using hierarchical probabilistic matching to the Geocoded National Address File. The software facilitates geocoding of addresses which enables linkage of databases for broader research applications, such as geospatial analysis.
MapMonkey is the University of Adelaide geocoding service for researchers. Its matching accuracy reflects the Australian address structure where state and
postcode have a higher geographic hierarchy than suburb, street name and street number, respectively, when geocoding to a house or land parcel.
Conclusion / Implications
Small area spatial analysis has great potential to inform our understanding of some of the more significant challenges of our time. Geocoding enables data linkage at fine spatial levels which allows more accurate socioeconomic and other data to be used in health and social research. The provision of a high accuracy geocoder will expand research capacity in data linkage and spatial analysis.
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