Geocoding function

[This article was first published on R tutorial for Spatial Statistics, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

This is a very simple function to perform geocoding using the Google Maps API:

getGeoCode <- function(gcStr, key)  {
  library("RJSONIO") #Load Library
  gcStr <- gsub(' ','%20',gcStr) #Encode URL Parameters
  #Open Connection
  connectStr <- paste0('',gcStr, "&key=",key) 
  con <- url(connectStr)
  data.json <- fromJSON(paste(readLines(con), collapse=""))
  #Flatten the received JSON
  data.json <- unlist(data.json)
  if(data.json["status"]=="OK")   {
    lat <- data.json[""]
    lng <- data.json["results.geometry.location.lng"]
    gcodes <- c(lat, lng)
    names(gcodes) <- c("Lat", "Lng")
    return (gcodes)

Essentially, users need to get an API key from google and then use as an input (string) for the function. The function itself is very simple, and it is an adaptation of some code I found on-line (unfortunately I did not write down where I found the original version so I do not have a way to reference the source, sorry!!).

geoCodes <- getGeoCode(gcStr="11 via del piano, empoli", key)

To use the function we simply need to include an address, and it will return its coordinates in WGS84.
It can be used in a mutate call within dplyr and it is reasonably fast.

The repository is here:

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: R tutorial for Spatial Statistics. offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials about learning R and many other topics. Click here if you're looking to post or find an R/data-science job.
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)