The process of finding associated geographic coordinates (often expressed as longitude and latitude) from other geographical data, such as address or zip codes. Geocoding is used as one of the primary resources for data mining in health care, with the help of this technology more accurate and precise results can be delivered and concluded. Also, many common errors can be avoided with the use of geocoding, such as addresses and general information being entered incorrectly into the program. It is also possible to find physician and office locations that clients may not know about which are geographically closer to them than their current provider. Geocoding can also eliminate the potential frauds by tracking every patients data and the use of their electronic records.

Many believe that geocoding will be the standard for linking data at the local, state, and national level in the near future. It has been proposed by Group 1 Software that many different geocode softwares (GeoStan, Spatial+) be combined into a single software for use at the national level, with the National Electronic Disease Surveilance System (NEDSS). The term Geocoding originated in 1994, by Group 1 Software, Inc.

One of the major drawbacks to the use of geocoding is the lack of data collected by the US public health care system. Social inequality is one of the major concerns with the practice of geocoding, with much of the world not being up to the same medical standards as those are in the US.


  • GeoStan
  • Spatial+

Web Resources:
Agrument's Against Geocoding

Related Terminology:
  • Reverse Geocoding
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)