Geocoding for public health research: Empirical comparison of two geocoding services applied to Canadian cities Le géocodage dans la recherche en santé publique: une comparaison empirique de deux services de géocodage utilisés dans les villes canadiennes

  • Shah T
  • Bell S
  • Wilson K
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


The process of geocoding, particularly the street address matching process, is a commonly used technique to obtain locational information for public health research. In health care accessibility research, geocoded locations of health care providers are an essential element for measuring potential access to health care. Our objective is to compare the geocoding match rates and positional variation of two geocoding procedures by using street network and postal code datasets to geocode primary health care services in 14 cities. The first procedure uses a manually built geocoding service using DMTI Spatial (DMTI) reference datasets while the second employs an online geocoding service provided as a built-in tool in ArcGIS, with ESRI Tele Atlas reference datasets. Results for Tele Atlas postal code and DMTI multiple enhanced postal codes (MEP) reference datasets produce much higher match rates (99.4%; 98.0% respectively) than street reference datsasets; while results of Tele Atlas street dataset produce better match rates (96.5%) than the DMTI street dataset (90.0%). Geocoding methods using Tele Atlas and DMTI Street datasets produce more accurate locations than postal code and MEP reference datasets. Empirical comparison of the geocoding results based on manually built and online geocoding services highlight the need for integrated geocoding procedures for increasing match rates with reduced positional uncertainty. (English) [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • CITIES & towns
  • HEALTH services accessibility
  • HEALTH services administration
  • MEDICAL personnel
  • POSTAL codes
  • PUBLIC health research
  • Urban geocoding
  • automated geocoding
  • géocodage automatisé
  • géocodage urbain
  • géographie de la santé
  • health geography
  • incertitude de positionnement
  • positional uncertainty
  • primary health care
  • soins de santé primaires

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Tayyab Ikram Shah

  • Scott Bell

  • Kathi Wilson

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free