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Getting the Coordinates
If you are on the hunt for a location or perhaps a geocache, you may need the GPS coordinates for that location. But, if you only have the address, you need to get the GPS coordinates from the address. Several free software programs are available that help you with this process.
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GPS Visualizer offers you a variety of free tools for changing physical addresses to GPS coordinates. The “Multiple Address Locator" is quite handy if you need to convert a lot of addresses at the same time. The program uses either Google’s or Yahoo’s Geocoding API service to do the dirty work.
You simply type in or copy and paste the addresses into the “Input" field. Only put one address per line. When you are done entering the addresses, select the type of data that you would like to get. You can either get raw data or data in tabular form. Select the “Source" (Yahoo or Google). You can separate the data by a comma, semi-colon, tab or pipe.
After you are done selecting your options, select the “Start geocoding" button to get your results.
The Quick Geocoder allows you to convert a single address. You simply copy the address into the address/location box, and select your Source. Then press the “Geocode it" button.
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You can also directly use the Google API, which outputs your data into either JSON or XML format. You also see the location on a Google map. You can only input up to 2,500 geolocation requests per day. But, the average person is going to request a lot fewer than this. To Use this API, follow the below directions:
1. Submit your API request in one of the following forms: http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/output?parameters or https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/output?parameters.
2. The output parameter must be either JSON or XML.
3. You must define the URL parameters. If you want to convert an address into a GPS coordinate, input the address. If you want to convert a longitude or latitude into a GPS coordinate, input those parameters.
4. You must tell the API whether the request originates from a GPS device that has a location sensor. Indicate either “False" or “True".
You can also add optional information like region code, language and bounds. The bounds helps bias the results.
The Google API will process the request and output the results in the requested format. You can either immediately open the results or save them to your device or desktop. If the API returns no results, you’ll still see that in the requested format.
There are other ways to convert an address to GPS coordinates. But, start with the free programs, and see if you can get what you need from these programs. They are easy to use and completely free.
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GPS Visualizer, http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/geocoding.html