Geocoding

geopandas supports geocoding (i.e., converting place names to location on Earth) through geopy, an optional dependency of geopandas. The following example shows how to get the locations of boroughs in New York City, and plots those locations along with the detailed borough boundary file included within geopandas.

In [1]: boros = geopandas.read_file(geopandas.datasets.get_path("nybb"))

In [2]: boros.BoroName
Out[2]: 
0    Staten Island
1           Queens
2         Brooklyn
3        Manhattan
4            Bronx
Name: BoroName, dtype: object

In [3]: boro_locations = geopandas.tools.geocode(boros.BoroName)

In [4]: boro_locations
Out[4]: 
                             geometry                                           address
0  POINT (-74.149604800 40.583455700)  Staten Island, New York, New York, United States
1  POINT (-73.828313200 40.713507800)         Queens, New York, New York, United States
2  POINT (-73.949721100 40.652600600)       Brooklyn, New York, New York, United States
3  POINT (-73.959893900 40.789623900)      Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
4  POINT (-73.878593700 40.846650800)      The Bronx, New York, New York, United States

In [5]: import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

In [6]: fig, ax = plt.subplots()

In [7]: boros.to_crs("EPSG:4326").plot(ax=ax, color="white", edgecolor="black");

In [8]: boro_locations.plot(ax=ax, color="red");
../../_images/boro_centers_over_bounds.png

By default, the geocode() function uses the Photon geocoding API. But a different geocoding service can be specified with the provider keyword.

The argument to provider can either be a string referencing geocoding services, such as 'google', 'bing', 'yahoo', and 'openmapquest', or an instance of a Geocoder from geopy. See geopy.geocoders.SERVICE_TO_GEOCODER for the full list. For many providers, parameters such as API keys need to be passed as **kwargs in the geocode() call.

For example, to use the OpenStreetMap Nominatim geocoder, you need to specify a user agent:

geopandas.tools.geocode(boros.BoroName, provider='nominatim', user_agent="my-application")

Attention

Please consult the Terms of Service for the chosen provider. The example above uses 'photon' (the default), which expects fair usage - extensive usage will be throttled. (Photon’s Terms of Use).