I'm trying to geocode a list of crime statistics that include block-only addresses i.e.:
and a couple thousand more for one zip code for one quarter period...

I have the city, state, zip as well.

I'm new to CARTODB and am working to add a layer of crimes to visualize along with other layers such as CENSUS tracts and another dataset of certain businesses. I have the zip, census tract and business layers added but need to add this layer of crime data.

I realize this has somewhat limited value because in a heat-map situation it would show the whole block for each individual crime. But, say I only pick out a few crimes like assaults. I would then have a low enough number where a heat map might make sense.

In any case the bigger question is I have to geo-code the block number for the address and am wondering if I can use street number ranges (i.e. 700-800) or a mid-block point (i.e. 750). The problem with both of these is the bias... i.e. the crime might have happened at the corner of 700.

I'm using the Texas A&M Geocode services (amazing service for free) https://geoservices.tamu.edu as well.

  • 1
    I'm not seeing a question mark in there, but if I take that second to last paragraph... Yes, it'll be biased or not completely accurate. However you've got (probably can only get, and in such a case should likely only be presenting) anonymized data. No, you can't really geocode a range (unless you do midpoint and then join it to the line and use the line for analysis). And yes, you could do mid-block point as a reasonable location for that kind of data. Kinda related: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/139036 (nothing you don't apparently already know).
    – Chris W
    Mar 19, 2015 at 6:20
  • Forgot the question mark :)? Thanks Chris. It's definitely anonymized data - i.e. what I can get [which is likely all that's available to civilians for privacy issues) only includes crime, date/time, block, zip, city: SAN DIEGO DISORD CONDUCT/PROSTITUTION 10/20/2014 13:15 1900 BLOCK GRAND AVENUE 92109 Thanks again. I'll post up what I learn and if anyone is interested in this space please connect.
    – civarchive
    Mar 19, 2015 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


By using the street addresses option you'll be able to geocode explicit addresses. Adding a range of blocks won't have the desired result: probably you'll get a null value or a point in the middle of the street.

You could try searching for a building footprints dataset in the city. Perhaps from there you can get the different geometries for the blocks that you can afterwards merge with your data.

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