Creating & Using Address Shapefiles

… there are many online tools that enable you to key in an address and show the location on a map. This section is focused on creating and using address-based point shapefiles in a GIS context. These methods provide similar information, showing the addresses on a map, but also enable a wide range of analytical capabilities. For example, find out how many of your addresses are in one county or census tract. Or, determine the census block or school district for each address.

Visualize Address Locations

The above views illustrates use of Find Address tool, described below, to locate/show addresses listed below. Marker/locations are shown with different markers based on a query. Markers are labeled with the point ID.
1100 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64105
1301 Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO 64105
1701 W. 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
4101 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
302 Nichols Rd., Kansas City, MO 64112
6100 Broadmoor St, Mission, KS 66202
5800 Antioch Rd, Merriam, KS 66202
11815 E Highway 40, Independence, MO 64055

Use the no-fee ProximityOne User Group version of the CV XE GIS software to enter addresses, show them on a map and automatically save the shapefile for reuse in the existing or other GIS projects.

Entering Addresses
Install CV XE GIS software and enter your User Group userid. Start CV XE GIS and select the Tools>Find Address feature.

After clicking Tools>Find Address, prompt appears showing default address. Enter an address or use the default value; click OK. Optionally continue adding addresses.  End the process by entering null address (no value). The first step is illustrated in the following graphic using an address in the Kansas City, MO area.

Shapefile Automatically Created
The default point shapefile name c:\cvxe\1\$$address1.shp is created as shown in message in the graphic below. In this example, only one address was entered. The address location is shown by the red marker. The shapefile is added to the existing GIS project. See legend panel top left in the graphic.

Using the Results
The next graphic illustrates using the Identify tool to click on point which displays the mini-profile for the selected point/address. Address/point attributes that are automatically created include the point number and address in ‘name’ field. Use other features of the software to modify the marker/point appearance, label the addresses or add other attributes to each address.

Unlike online address-locators and display services, using the GIS operation you can determine which in which census block or other political/statistical areas (congressional district, school district, etc.) the address is located. If your point shapefile contains many addresses there are also geospatial analysis tools that can be used. Use the site analysis feature select a group of addresses, visually on the map, and create/display a profile of aggregated data for the selection of points.

Contextual View of Matched Road/Street Segment
You can also view the address locations in context of the matched street segment. The next graphic shows a zoom-in view. The roads/streets layer has made active (click on layer name in legend panel). The Identify tool is used to create mini-profile of matched street segment as shown in the graphic below.

By using the road segment attributes, the census block code (and higher level geocodes) can be determined/assigned. See more about the road segment attributes.

There are many other tools to create address-based point shapefiles. For example, you might have a file with existing latitude-longitude values/fields. In this case, the Find Address or Find Address-Batch operation is not needed — the latitude-longitude values have already been assigned. Creating a point shapefile by importing records with existing latitude-longitude will be reviewed in an upcoming blog post.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data.

One response to “Creating & Using Address Shapefiles

  1. Pingback: What’s New In GIS And Biological Research: 30 March 2015 | GIS In Ecology

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