This algorithm converts place names or addresses into Latitude, Longitude co-ordinates. It accepts international addresses, countries, States of United States of America and ZIP codes of United States of America. All co-ordinates are obtained by querying Bing geocoder service. Internet access must be available during geocoding.

Pros & Cons
  1. The performance is slower than the Geocoder and may vary due to the network latency since the queries are requested through internet service.
  2. Bing Geocoder supports address geocoding with international coverage which is not supported by Geocoder.
  3. To use Bing Geocoder, user has to obtain an API Keys from Bing Maps. Save your api keys and provide it when requested by the Bing Geocoder. Since each api key is allowed to geocode 50,000 locations per 24 hours, the user is encouraged to test on a small set of data first.

The plugin is useful for scientists who would like to visualize their  data on a geographical map (see Geospatial Visualization). User can obtain the geographical coordinates (Latitude and Longitude values) and feed them to the visualization plugin.

Implementation Details

The algorithm receives a list of input data (locations) and queries their locations one by one through Bing geocoding service. The results will temporarily be cached in memory so that the same query for duplicated locations can be avoided. The cache is deleted after each user request is completed. This plugin is included with the Sci2 application. Performance of this algorithm is O(n).

The detail of the algorithm is shown as following,

  1. Bing Gecoder is favored by MVCs (Model-View-Controller)
  2. View
    BingGeocoderFactory is extending AbstractGeocoderFactory. It defines all the display options and user input wrapping.. The detail of the implementation can be accessed through here.
  3. Controller
    GeocoderAlgorithm is the shared geocoder controller which is documented with AbstractGeocoderFactory. It invokes BingFamilyOfGeocoder's methods to retrieve the geocoder based on the selected type and performs the geocoding operation.
    BingFamilyOfGeocoder contains four geocoders: BingCountryCoderBingStateCoderBingZipCodeCoderBingAddressCoder. Each coder will only be created when it is invoked
    Geocoder contains the geocodingFullForm and geocodingAbbreviation methods which will invoked PlaceFinderClient to request Bing geocoding service.
    PlaceFinderClient will performs the service query to Bing Geocoder. Every request has three times retry for network failure. The result will be returned as Response which is defined in the model
  4. Model
    - The model classes were generated by using placeFinder.xsd and located in
    - The JAXB technology is chosen as the un-marshaller since Bing PlaceFinder has a simple and standard service response definition. JAXP is more suitable for complicated data model which provides more control in data preprocessing.
  5. Dependency: javax.xml.*
Usage Hints

Here is a 8 steps guide for using the plugin:

  1. Make sure you are connected to the internet.
  2. Load an input data table that contains locations to be geocoded.
  3. Select Analysis > Geospatial > Bing Geocoder from the menu bar. A window will pop up.
  4. Enter your Bing app key. You can obtain one from here.
  5. Choose place type that represents your input location data. The place type can be address, country, U.S. state or U.S. ZIP code.
  6. Choose place name column that represents the location field in your data file.
  7. Select Include address details if you want Bing to return the parsed address information.
  8. Press Ok to start geocoding.

All rows of the data will be geocoded one by one using Bing geocoder. Emtpy entries and invalid locations that failed to be geocoded are listed in the console.

The output of this algorithm is the original input table with two additional for latitude and longitude. Locations that failed to be geocoded will have blank entries.

Performance varies by machine and network latency.