Q: My Locations Will Not Geocode. Why?

Whether doing a bulk import or adding locations by hand there are times when you will see a “location uncoded” or “cannot geocode” error message.     This is always the result of an address that was send to Google that cannot be processed in the address location system.

Bulk Import – Wrong Column Names

During bulk import the most common issue is that the location header fields are not correct.    An address or city column is labelled incorrectly.    With the Power add on the very first row of your CSV file must be valid Store Locator Plus field names.    Review the CSV Import articles for a list of current column names.

CSV Files – Column Name Typos

Make sure your column names are spelled correctly.    We received support requests every month that are from users that are importing a file with a state column having a header “statae” or where the state column has city data in it and the city column has a phone number.  An easy way to check this is to first open your CSV file in another app like Google Sheets.

CSV Files – Incorrect Format

CSV is a very specific file format.   All text fields should be wrapped in quotes (“) especially if the fields such as a description field contains characters like commas or newlines (returns).   Between each field there needs to be a comma.

Often we see CSV files where an address has a return character in it, breaking the single line into a new line.      This is often because the file was not saved in UTF-8 format or was not built correctly via a programmatic file creator that is not encoding control characters or is not stripping them out properly.

Some of the common mistakes are, adding commas in a column where they don’t belong (instead of a separate column for line 2 of address) or entering a carriage return when creating the file, having undefined or special characters that cannot easily be translated.

Tip: Export the locations file to a CSV, review and clean the data, and try importing again.

Manually Adding A Location

Most locations will be geocoded correctly when added via the add locations form in Store Locator Plus.  However Google does not know every address in the world.    Sometimes Google can be helped by entering a FULL address with no abbreviations.   Enter “100 Main Street” instead of “100 Main St”.   Enter the country even though all your other locations do not need to specify “Australia” when you enter an address in Melbourne.    Lastly – make sure you do not have a typo in your address and that you are not using a “locally known nickname” instead of the full formal name for the address.

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