Alteryx Geocoding App

Version:
Current
Last modified: March 26, 2020

The Alteryx Geocoding App uses a number of different Alteryx tools to clean and assign US Addresses to their best possible physical location match as designated by latitude and longitude. The Analytic App is a stand-alone interface that allows you to specify certain parameters and execute the Geocoding process.

To run this App, you must have an Alteryx Runtime license and installation of Alteryx, Alteryx Geocoder, and optionally the CASS Coder and ZIP +4 Coder.

Configure Analytic App

Input File

Select the method of input.

Geocode Multiple Addresses by selecting a file containing address data.

If the file has not already been run through this App and the box is checked, you will receive an error.

  • Choose a file to Geocode: Browse to the file you wish to geocode.
  • Only Geocode uncoded records: The geocoder ignores records that have already been passed through this process and only codes those records whose GEO_GeoLevel field is "Uncoded."

Geocode a single address by manually entering an address.

  • Specify the address to geocode. All fields are required: Enter the information in the appropriate field.

Once your selections are set, select Next.

Geocoder Options

Choose a Geocoder: Use the dropdown to Select a Geocoder from the available list.

Enable Tom Tom Multinet Address Points

  • Match and Geocode: When selected, the input records are matched against the TomTom Multinet Address Points Calgary Database file. This file includes ~80 million address points, located by their parcel or placed directly on the structure. Any record that does not match this file will be geocoded as normal.

License installation requirement

This option requires a licensed installation of the TomTom Multinet Address Points Calgary Database file and CASS must be enabled.

  • Do not match file, just geocode: When selected, the input records are geocoded as normal.

Enable Interactive Mode

When Geocoding in Interactive Mode, you can interactively edit the input address and communicate with the geocoder directly to assign a match.

The Modify Geocode Input box will launch when the Geocoder cannot automatically assign a match. Incidents that will prompt this box may include: A multiple match is detected, the address may have an Alias, the closest match may produce a score that is less than favorable, or maybe the only match possible is a ZIP Code. If you are familiar enough with the input data, you can make the appropriate edits to the Original Address so that the Geocoder can assign the appropriate match.

Original Address shows how the record appears in its native state in the input file.

Edit Address is the area the end user can type and edit the address.

At any time, the end-user can click Geocode to see what the geocoder may recognize as a possible match. Possible matches appear in the Edited Address Output box.

Select a match and then select Accept. Once you choose to accept a match, the original address is replaced with the accepted address.

To move to the next address, select Next Record and repeat the process.

The Current Record text displays how many records you have gone through and the total number of records in the queue.

Select Finished to finish the Interactive Process.

  • Allow Interactive mode: Interactive mode enables you to edit an address that the geocoder can not natively read, so that it can be geocoded.
  • Do not allow Interactive mode: If you disallow Interactive mode, it will not offer you any choice to identify multiple matches or edit an address.

Geocoder Fields

Select the Geocoder Output Fields: The output variables available depend on the geocoder product being used. Check the boxes next to the appropriate fields to append to the geocoded data table. Options on the right allow to Select AllSelect Defaults, or to Clear All. See Street geocoder tool.

You may also Select Geocoder Advanced Output Fields.

Once your options are set, select Next.

CASS Options

Enable CASS Coding: By default, CASS is enabled to allow geocoding to match against Tom Tom Multinet Address Points and to provide ZIP+4 coding.

Select CASS Fields for Output: Check the boxes next to the appropriate fields to append to the geocoded data table. Options on the right allow to Select AllSelect Defaults, or to Clear All. See CASS tool.

You may also Select Advanced CASS Fields.

Once your options are set, select Next.

If CASS is disabled, you will not be able to match to the Address Points database or ZIP+4 code your address file.

Zip +4 Coder

Use ZIP +4 Coder for Failed Records: By default, ZIP +4 Coder is enabled.

Choose ZIP +4 Coder fields: Check the boxes next to the appropriate fields to append to the geocoded data table. Options on the right allow to Select AllSelect Defaults, or to Clear All. See US ZIP9 coder Tool.

Once your options are set, select Next.

If CASS is disabled, you will not be able to ZIP+4 code your address file.

Output Files

Choose a File to save the Geocode Results: Browse to the location of the file to be written with the geocoded results. The summary file will include the Levels the records geocoded to and the count of records in that GeoLevel.

Create a Geocoder Summary File: If you choose to output the summary, use Choose a File for the Geocoder Summary to browse to a destination file location.

Save the records not Interactively coded to a separate file: If you choose to output the uncoded results, use Records not Interactively Coded to browse to a destination file location.

Once your Options are specified, select Finish.

When you select an output file for your resulting geocoded records, it is not recommended to overwrite your input file.

Troubleshooting

The following are common error messages a user may encounter if the Analytic App is incorrectly configured, or if something is erroneous in the input file.

You must specify an input file: An input file is not specified. Additionally you will get this error if your specified input file is missing any of the required fields: Address, City, State, ZIP.

You must specify an output file: An output file is not specified.

CASS must be selected to use the ZIP+4 Coder: The ZIP+4 coder is set to use the ZIP+4 data generated from the CASS process. If you do not have the CASS process enabled, this error will be thrown. Either go back and enable CASS, or disable the ZIP+4 Coder to proceed.

There were Errors: Filter (244): Parse Error at char(9): Unknown variable "GEO_GeoLevel": On the Input File tab, the optional box is checked AND the specified input file has not already been through the geocoding Analytic App process.

Another reason you may be getting this error is if you are inputting a .dbf file that was the resulting output of a previous run through this geocoder. .dbf files have field length limitations and therefore fields are automatically truncated. Try using file types that have no limitations, such as an Alteryx Database file (.yxdb)

Formula (2): Parse Error at char(0): Type mismatch. Number provided where a string is required. (Expression #1): Check your input file. Your ZIP code field is probably a number and it should be a string. You can reformat this field, save the file and try again. Or just save your file as a *.csv file and all the fields will be read as text.

Understand Returned Codes

There are a number of Codes being returned in the resulting geocode process. Some are briefly outlined here. More information can be found in the Alteryx Help file in the Alteryx Runtime directory: \Program Files\Alteryx\bin\RuntimeData\AlteryxHelp.chm

There are different engines that generate the different fields. The Field Prefix will indicate which process generated which fields:

  • GEO: Indicates the Geocoder returned the field
  • CASS: Indicates the CASS Coder returned the field
  • ZIP9: Indicates the ZIP + 4 coder returned the field.

GEO_GeoLevel and GEO_Match Status

These two fields are perhaps the most important fields to return and they work in tandem to describe the success of the geocode.

The GeoLevel, is the level that your record geocoded to. There are 8 possible GeoLevels in order of best to worst:

  • Actual: Address was matched to the TomTom Multinet Address Points file and represents the actual, physical location of the property.
  • Street: Address is assigned to its interpolated street location.
  • Intersection: Address is assigned to the intersection of multiple streets.
  • Extrapolate: When an input address is out of range, the Geocoder assigns the address to the closest known valid street segment.
  • ZIP9: Address is assigned to the 9-digit ZIP Code, or ZIP+4.
  • ZIP7: Address is assigned to the 7-digit ZIP Code Match (not common, the first 2 digits of the ZIP+4).
  • ZIP5: Address is assigned to the ZIP Code centroid.
  • Not Coded: No match.

The Match Status is how the record matched to the GeoLevel. Possible values in order of preference are:

  1. Exact
  2. Multiple

The best possible combination is GEO_GeoLevel==Street and MatchStatus==Exact

When GEO_MatchStatus==Exact and GEO_GeoLevel==ZIP5, the record matched exactly to the ZIP5 level. This is not a Street level match.

GEO_FirstLineChanged and GEO_LastLineChanged

These fields are Boolean Fields, therefore the only values returned are TRUE or FALSE. What this means is that the Geocoder returned a matched address where the format of the original input address was different. Perhaps a directional was added, a street abbreviation was applied, or the ZIP Code was different. These instances would return TRUE values.

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