How do I find the address for a location I click on in the map (Reverse Geocoding)?

Geocoding is the process where the software reads an address you give it and it finds the location on the map. The opposite procedure is called reverse geocoding where you can click a point on the map (or locate a file by coordinate) and the software can tell you the closest address to that point. This process is not perfect (what happens if you try to do this in the middle of a desert etc.) but this article describes the steps to get a decent estimate for the reverse geocode.

Step 1: Create the point layer

First, you need to create a layer of the point(s) for which you want to find the address.

  1. Open a map of the general area you want to look at
  2. Go to Tools>Analysis>Buffers Toolbar
  3. Click Add Temporary Points  and then click on the map for the locations you want to analyze
  4. Click Save Annotations and Add Layer 

This will create a new point layer called Point for the locations you clicked.

Step 2: Set up the table

Next, you will need to edit the table for this point layer to have some extra fields in order to hold the address data:

  1. Right-click on Point in the Display Manager and choose New Dataview
  2. Choose Dataview>Table>Modify
  3. For each piece of address information you want, click Add Field, then give it an appropriate name and type. E.g.:
    • Address – Character – Width 50
    • ZIP – Integer (4 bytes) – Width 10
    • City – Chracter – Width 20
    • State – Character – Width 2
  4. Click OK and click Yes.

Step 3: Fill in the table

Next, we want to fill in the table with the relevant information. For all but address, we will be using the Tag feature shown in this tutorial. For Address, we will be using a custom formula.

  1. Right-click on the column name for Address and choose Fill
  2. Choose Formula and copy/paste the following formula: 

    a2s(ParseString(GetStreetLocation(“Street.NAME”, Coord(Longitude, Latitude), 0.002), “between”, {{“Include Empty”,”False”}}), 1)

  3. For each of the other columns:
    1. Right-click on the column name and choose Fill
    2. Choose Tag
    3. Choose the correct layer and the relevant field to tag with. The correct field will depend on the layer. E.g.:
      • For ZIP, choose ZIP
      • For City, choose Name
      • For State, choose [State Abbrev]

When you are finished filling in the table, you should have the full address for each of the points you selected in Step 1.

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