Development Gateway has developed a web-based geocoding toolkit using Esri technology and the geonames gazetteer web service. The purpose of the tool is to reduce the time and manual effort related to mapping aid projects, while also eliminating user errors. However, while the amount of time required for data entry has been dramatically reduced, the process of mapping projects also includes searching through long project documents to find place names for geocoding which comprises the bulk of the effort of project geocoding.
The desired application would be capable of processing large documents (.pdf or .doc(x) format) and suggesting potential locations for the geocoders to map. The tool could use free place names databases like geonames to define possible locations and should be flexible enough to detect similar or alternate spellings of the same location (e.g. Mombasa/Mombassa). The application will be tested along-side the current manual searching process to determine its accuracy, completeness, and efficiency benefits.