Spatial data is pervasive: everything that happens, happens somewhere. However, the geographic component of data is not always ready to be used in a geographic information system. Sometimes, we must derive that geographic component from other information, such as addresses, administrative areas, or even business names.
Multiple paid services provide that translation to geographic coordinates. But I want to focus on a free online tool that allows you to get a reliable result in no time.
Batch geocoder for journalists from LocusFocus is my favourite geocoding tool: it is fast, allows batch geocoding, and does not require login. But unfortunately, you cannot import spreadsheets directly to the website nor export the results in that format. Hence, you'll be doing a bit of copying and pasting, but that shouldn't stop you from using this handy tool!
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