MetroGIS Geocoder

Do you need address spatial look-up in your application?
MetroGIS has sponsored development of a Web Service that takes Address or Intersection requests and returns closest matches with their latitude-longitude.  Use this service to add geocoding to a web map or any application that needs spatial info for addresses, without having to store your own local copy of the underlying data. Look-up by, Street Address,  Intersection (Two Street Names) and/or Landmark Name.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Region Geocoder Service:
The service uses the Regional Parcel Dataset of the Seven Metropolitan Counties. In the future, the service will use MetroGIS Regional Address Points dataset. The service cascades, as needed, to metro-area street ranges from the NCompass Road Centerline dataset.   

Postal Address Geo-Coder (PAGC)
This service uses Open Source "PAGC" geocoder software ( first developed in Canada for batch geocoding of national datasets. MetroGIS funded revision of PAGC for a multi-user environment and for use as a Web Service. Background on MetroGIS Geocoder Project organization and funding can be found here: Geocoder Final Report (PDF)
Using the Geocoder Web Service in Your Application
Metro Geocoder Web Service takes url-encoded Address or Intersection requests and returns closest matches with latitude-longitude, in XML, CSV or JSON.
This technical document describes the details of sending a request and handling a response:
Geocoder Request Protocol & Response API Document (PDF)
Use and Enhancements.
Have you made it easier to use the MetroGIS Geocoder in some kind of application?
Let us know and we’ll add a link here.

Links to public sites currently using the MetroGIS Geocoder Web Service:
Metro Mosquito Control Board Web Map
(Developer: Houston Engineering)
DNR LandView
(Developer: Craig Perrault, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)
Build Your Own Geocoder Service
This is open source software (LGPL), available for free from MetroGIS, also 
available from
Download (4.33 MB)
The MetroGIS Geocoder Service package includes archives and files necessary to build and install the software from source, and an installer that contains pre-compiled binaries and files for a Microsoft Windows installation.
The package includes full documentation for setting up your own service.
Software is intended for Windows and Linux systems running the Apache webserver, but there is nothing to preclude its use on other systems or webservers.
Local installation of the complete geocoder software also requires the gcc C compiler, MINGW (for Windows), Berkeley db (4), and Fastcgi Apache module and library (if fastcgi chosen; will also function as a CGI program) Local installation requires your own copy of base datasets (shapesets).
Help Improve the Geocoder
Want to improve the MetroGIS Geocoder Service? Contact the Geocoder Team
Nancy Read at
Want to extend the capabilities of the PAGC software? You can sponsor development projects or modify the code yourself.  PAGC is open source software, written in fully commented ANSI C, and covered by the GNU Lesser General Public License.  To sign up for the PAGC list or contact current developers, see
The following is a sample urlencoded request and XML response:
Click here to see an XML response.
This link sends the following text: AVE W&PlaceName=Saint Paul&ZipCode=55104 3431&ResponseForm