Geocode and reverse geocode your data using, R, JSON and Google Maps’ Geocoding API

March 20, 2012
By

(This article was first published on All Things R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)


Geocode and reverse geocode your data using, R, JSON and Google Maps' Geocoding API

To geocode and reverse geocode my data, I use Google's Geocoding service which returns the geocoded data in a JSON. I will recommend that you register with Google Maps API and get a key if you have large amount of data and would do repeated geo coding.

Geocode:

getGeoCode <- function(gcStr)  {
  library("RJSONIO") #Load Library
  gcStr <- gsub(' ','%20',gcStr) #Encode URL Parameters
 #Open Connection
 connectStr <- paste('http://maps.google.com/maps/api/geocode/json?sensor=false&address=',gcStr, sep="") 
  con <- url(connectStr)
  data.json <- fromJSON(paste(readLines(con), collapse=""))
  close(con)
  #Flatten the received JSON
  data.json <- unlist(data.json)
  if(data.json["status"]=="OK")   {
    lat <- data.json["results.geometry.location.lat"]
    lng <- data.json["results.geometry.location.lng"]
    gcodes <- c(lat, lng)
    names(gcodes) <- c("Lat", "Lng")
    return (gcodes)
  }
}
geoCodes <- getGeoCode("Palo Alto,California")
> geoCodes
           Lat            Lng 
  "37.4418834" "-122.1430195" 

Reverse Geocode:
reverseGeoCode <- function(latlng) {
latlngStr <-  gsub(' ','%20', paste(latlng, collapse=","))#Collapse and Encode URL Parameters
  library("RJSONIO") #Load Library
  #Open Connection
  connectStr <- paste('http://maps.google.com/maps/api/geocode/json?sensor=false&latlng=',latlngStr, sep="")
  con <- url(connectStr)
  data.json <- fromJSON(paste(readLines(con), collapse=""))
  close(con)
  #Flatten the received JSON
  data.json <- unlist(data.json)
  if(data.json["status"]=="OK")
    address <- data.json["results.formatted_address"]
  return (address)
}
address <- reverseGeoCode(c(37.4418834, -122.1430195))
> address
                    results.formatted_address 
"668 Coleridge Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA" 

 Happy Coding!



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