DEV Community

Cover image for Bulk Geocode addresses using Google Maps and GeoPy

Posted on • Updated on

Bulk Geocode addresses using Google Maps and GeoPy

Geocoding is the process of converting addresses (like a street address) into geographic coordinates (like latitude and longitude).
With Woosmap you can request nearby location or display on a map a lot of geographic elements like stores or any other point of interest. To take advantages of these features, you first have to push geocoded locations to our system.
Most of the time, your dataset has addresses but no location information.

The following script, hosted on our Woosmap Github Organization, is a basic utility for geocoding CSV files that have address data included.
It will parse the file and add coordinate information as well as some metadata on geocoded results like the location type, as discussed below.
It calls Google Maps Geocoding API through the GeoPy python client.

The source code is open to view and change, and contributions are welcomed.


GeoPy is a Python client for several popular geocoding web services.
It makes it easy for Python developers to locate the coordinates of addresses, cities, countries, and landmarks across the globe using third-party geocoders and other data sources.
It includes geocoder classes for the OpenStreetMap Nominatim, ESRI ArcGIS, Google Geocoding API, Baidu Maps, Bing Maps, Yandex, GeoNames, OpenMapQuest and many other geocoding services. The full list is available on the geopy documentation.

Google Maps Geocoding API

Google Maps Geocoding API is a service that provides geocoding and reverse geocoding of addresses.
In this python script we used the GeoPy wrapper of this API but a nice alternative could be to implement the Python Client for Google Maps Services available on Google GitHub organization. Adapting the source code of the script to this python client would be easy as the Geocoding method accepts identical parameters and returns almost the same object.

Registering a Google Maps API key

Each Google Maps Web Service request requires an API key that is available with a Google Account at Google Developers Console.

Steps To get an API key:

  1. Visit the Google Maps Platform page and click Get started.

  2. Select the Maps product to get the APIs that are needed to work with Geopy.

  3. Click Continue.

  4. The Select a project step asks you to associate a name with your use of Google's APIs. Either create a new name or select an existing project.

  5. After agreeing to the terms of service, click Next.

  6. Create a billing account with the Google Maps Platform. A billing account is a requirement in the new Google Maps Platform. For more information, see the Google Maps Platform pricing and billing documentation.

This Key is a long string of generated characters and looks like:

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Important: This key should be kept secret on your server (but you can revoke a key and generate a new one if needed)

Restrict your API Key

Google Maps API key restrictions are settings you apply to an API key that limit which applications, APIs, and SDKs can be used with that key.
For example, you can specify that an API key can only be used to the Geocoding API from a server with an IP address that matches the server your backend service is running on.

Restricting an API key is fast and easy. You can do it at any time from the credentials page of the Google Cloud console.


  1. Go to the Google API credentials page.

  2. Select your project from the menu.

  3. Select the API key that you want to set a restriction on. The API key property page appears.

  4. Under Application restrictions, click IP Address (web servers, cron jobs, ...) and enter the public IP where you're executing the script.

  5. Click Save.

Script Usage

The script takes an input csv file with addresses you need to geocode and produce an output csv file that contains all values from origin csv with appended following fields :

  • Latitude
  • Longitude
  • Location_Type (see below)
  • Formatted_Address
  • Error (if needded, for failed geocoded addresses)

Download the script to your local machine. Then run:

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

To make it compatible with your own CSV file and Google keys, you have to set the following parameters on top of the script.

Mandatory Parameters

  • ADDRESS_COLUMNS_NAME - List - used to set a google geocoding query by merging these values into one string comma separated. it depends on your CSV input file
  • NEW_COLUMNS_NAME - List - appended columns name to processed data csv (no need to change this but you can add new columns depending on [Geocoding Google Results][geocoding_results])
  • DELIMITER - String - delimiter for your input csv file
  • INPUT_CSV_FILE - String - path and name for input csv file
  • OUTPUT_CSV_FILE - String - path and name for output csv file

Optional Parameters

  • COMPONENTS_RESTRICTIONS_COLUMNS_NAME - Dict - used to define component restrictions for google geocoding. See [Google componentRestrictions doc][component_restrictions] for details.
  • GOOGLE_API_KEY - String - Google API Key set above.

Input Data

The sample data (hairdresser_sample_addresses.csv) supported by default is a CSV file representing various hairdressers around the world. You can see below a subset of what the file looks like:

name addressline1 town postalcode isocode
Hairhouse Warehouse Riverlink Shopping centre Ipswich 4305 AU
Room For Hair 20 Jull Street ARMADALE 6112 AU
D'luxe Hair & Beauty Burra Place Shellharbour City Plaza Shellharbour 2529 AU

Script Explanation

Prepare the Destination File

As described above, the destination file contains all the origins fields plus geocoded data (latitude, longitude and error when occur) and some metadata (formatted_address and location_type). In the case of our sample file, the Header of destination CSV file looks like :

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

To build it, open the input and output csv files and create a new header to append to destination file:

with open(INPUT_CSV_FILE, 'r') as csvinput:
    with open(OUTPUT_CSV_FILE, 'w') as csvoutput:
        # new csv based on same dialect as input csv
        writer = csv.writer(csvoutput, dialect="ga")

        # create a proper header with stripped fieldnames for new CSV
        header = [h.strip() for h in]

        # read Input CSV as Dict of Dict
        reader = csv.DictReader(csvinput, dialect="ga", fieldnames=header)

        # 2-dimensional data variable used to write the new CSV
        processed_data = []

        # append new columns, to receive geocoded information 
        # to the header of the new CSV
        header = list(reader.fieldnames)
        for column_name in NEW_COLUMNS_NAME:
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Build an address line

The principle is to build for each row a line address by merging multiple values in one string, based on the list ADDRESS_COLUMNS_NAME, to pass it to Google Geocoder. For instance, the first line of our csv will become the line address "Hairhouse Warehouse, Riverlink Shopping centre, Ipswich".

# iterate through each row of input CSV
for record in reader:
    # build a line address 
    # based on the merge of multiple field values to pass to Google Geocoder`
    line_address = ','.join(
        str(val) for val in (record[column_name] for column_name in ADDRESS_COLUMNS_NAME))
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Apply the Component Restrictions

Google Maps Geocoding API is able to return limited address results in a specific area. This restriction is specified in the script using the filters dict COMPONENTS_RESTRICTIONS_COLUMNS_NAME.
A filter consists in a list of pairs component:value. You can leave it empty {} if you don't want to apply restricted area.

# if you want to use componentRestrictions feature,
# build a matching dict {'googleComponentRestrictionField' : 'yourCSVFieldValue'}
# to pass to Google Geocoder
component_restrictions = {}
    for key, value in COMPONENT_RESTRICTIONS_COLUMNS_NAME.items():
        component_restrictions[key] = record[value]
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Geocode the address

Before call the geocoding method of GeoPy, instantiate a new GoogleV3 Geocoder with your Google credentials, at least the Server API Key.

geo_locator = GoogleV3(api_key=GOOGLE_API_KEY,
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Then call the geocoding method passing the geocoder instance, built line address and optional component restrictions.

# geocode the built line_address and passing optional componentRestrictions
location = geocode_address(geo_locator, line_address, component_restrictions)

def geocode_address(geo_locator, line_address, component_restrictions=None, retry_counter=0):
    # the geopy GoogleV3 geocoding call
    location = geo_locator.geocode(line_address, components=component_restrictions)

    # build a dict to append to output CSV
    if location is not None:
        location_result = {"Lat": location.latitude, "Long": location.longitude, "Error": "",
                           "formatted_address": location.raw['formatted_address'],
                           "location_type": location.raw['geometry']['location_type']}
    return location_result
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Retry on Failure

The script retries to geocode the given line address when intermittent failures occur.
That is, when the GeoPy library raised a GeocodeError exception that means that any of the retriable 5xx errors are returned from the API.
By default the retry counter (RETRY_COUNTER_CONST) is set to 5:

# To retry because intermittent failures sometimes occurs
except (GeocoderQueryError) as error:
    if retry_counter < RETRY_COUNTER_CONST:
        return geocode_address(geo_locator, line_address, component_restrictions, retry_counter + 1)
        location_result = {"Lat": 0, "Long": 0, "Error": error.message, "formatted_address": "",
                           "location_type": ""}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Handle Generic and Geocoding Exceptions

Other exceptions can occur, like when you exceed your daily quota limit or request by seconds.
To support them import the GeoPy exceptions and handle each errors after geocode call.
The script also raises an error when no geocoded address is found.
The error message is appended to Error CSV field.

# import Exceptions from GeoPy
from geopy.exc import (

# after geocode call, if no result found, raise a ValueError
if location is None:
    raise ValueError("None location found, please verify your address line")

# To catch generic and geocoder errors.
except (ValueError, GeocoderQuotaExceeded, ConfigurationError, GeocoderParseError) as error:
    location_result = {"Lat": 0, "Long": 0, "Error": error.message, "formatted_address": "", "location_type": ""}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode


You can exceed the Google Maps Platform web services usage limits by sending too many requests per second. In that case, you will raise an OVER_QUERY_LIMIT error. You will have to wait between two API Call.

# for too many requests per second, we have to sleep 500 ms between each request.
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode


Apart from the Latitude and Longitude fields, here are the 3 main results appended to destination CSV file.

Formatted Address

The formatted_address matches a readable address of the place (and original line address). This address is most of the time equivalent to the "postal address".

Geocoding Accuracy Labels

For each succeeded geocoded address, a geocoding accuracy results is returned in location_type field. It comes from the Google Maps API Geocoding service (see Google geocoding Results doc for more information). The following values are currently supported:

  • "ROOFTOP" indicates that the returned result is a precise geocode for which we have location information accuracy down to street address precision.
  • "RANGE_INTERPOLATED" indicates that the returned result reflects an approximation (usually on a road) interpolated between two precise points (such as intersections). Interpolated results are generally returned when rooftop geocodes are unavailable for a street address.
  • "GEOMETRIC_CENTER" indicates that the returned result is the geometric center of a result such as a polyline (for example, a street) or polygon (region).
  • "APPROXIMATE" indicates that the returned result is approximate.


Whenever the call to Google Maps API failed, the script will return an error message "None location found, please verify your address line".
For all other errors, the message raised by GeoPy will be appended to the field value. See GeoPy Exceptions for more details.

Display your POI on a Map

You could use Woosmap to display the geocoded addresses on a Map. If so, follow this help article to upload your CSV file to Woosmap.

Here is a sample of what it looks like on the Woosmap Store Locator widget.

Useful Links

Top comments (0)