So what is geocoding anyway?
Geocoding is the process by which postal address data are turned into geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude). Postal addresses are uploaded as input data and their latitude/ longitude coordinates are returned as output data. This allows the coordinates of these locations to be mapped with geographic information systems (GIS) and visualized.
Why use geocoding?
Geocoding is used broadly within many different fields and in many different ways. A few examples of its use include: Real estate companies that use geocoding to analyze real estate sales and visualize regions of highest sales and trends. Businesses frequently use geocoding to analyze their current customer locations and predict where it would be beneficial to build a new office or perform marketing activities. Geocoding is often used in the realm of academia for research purposes for data visualization. The field of health uses it for many reasons; one being to study the outbreak of specific diseases to target the possible sources of these diseases. However geocoding is being used, it has become a very important and beneficial element in mapping and visualization for many fields.