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Avalara Help Center

Find Jurisdictions and Verify Addresses

In the Customer Portal, there are two Geo tabs -- Geo Viewer and Geo Batch.

When to use the Geo Viewer tab

  • Validate customer addresses to eliminate incorrect address issues.
  • Enhance mailing addresses to ZIP+4 U.S. Postal standards.
  • Determine the county in which customers are located.
  • Determine whether addresses are incorporated or unincorporated.
  • Identify special tax jurisdiction status including E911, transit, police, school, library and more.

See Verify a US Postal Service address and Verify an address using latitude and longitude coordinates below.

When to use the Geo Batch tab

Perform the functions in the Geo Viewer on a large scale by importing multiple address or longitude-latitude records at once. See Import a file for geocoding multiple records at once below.

For more information

Geo Viewer and Geo Batch are interfaces to Avalara Geo for Communications SaaS Pro. For more detailed documentation about Geo SaaS Pro, see the Avalara Geo for Communications User Manual.

Note: Geo for Communications only supports geocoding for US, Puerto Rico and other US territory addresses. Addresses in countries outside the US (including Canada and Mexico) are not supported and might not return any results.

Verify a US Postal Service address

 To verify and geocode addresses, do the following:

  1. From Geo in the Customer Portal, select Geo Viewer.
  2. Under Input Location, click the Address tab.
  3. Enter Street (including number), City, State/Province, Zip/Postal Code, and Ext (Postal code extension).
  4. (Optional) Expand Advanced Configuration to refine your results. Enter fields as follows.
     
    Field Name What Is It? When to Use It
    CASS Certify CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) Certify is a process by which a USPS database is used to ensure that the geocoded address is as accurate as possible. Therefore, it is a best practice to use this option to increase the accuracy of the results.
     
    Use in all geocoding tasks. 
    Out of Range

    When this option is selected, Avalara for Geo SaaS Pro finds the location with the closest street number and returns it as a match.

    It is recommended that you use this method only if necessary. This is considered a fallback method that could return unexpected results (see entry for Score). 

    Use when an incorrect street number has been entered or the location is in a new development that has not yet been incorporated into the street database. This enables the system to return a result near the location you entered.

     

    Special District

    Geographic areas can be designated as requiring a tax for a specific purpose. These areas are called special tax jurisdictions and can be applicable for entities such as Fire, Police, Ambulance, Library, Transportation, Economic Development, and Cultural and Science, or other entity for which a special tax is required.

    Use in all geocoding tasks unless you don't want special tax jurisdictions displayed.
    Postal Centroid Returns the location of the geographic center of the ZIP Code area.

    It is recommended that you use this method only if necessary. This is considered a fallback method that could return unexpected results (see entry for Score). 
    This method is not recommended because the address returned will have no relationship to the input address other than ZIP Code. 
    Score

    Confidence score of the resulting address match. Scores are based on how well database values match the address you entered.

    • A score of 1.0 is a 100% (exact) match. The closer the score is to 1.0, the more accurate and desirable the result is. It is recommended that you use a score of 0.7 as a minimum value. 
    • Results that fall below the minimum score you specify are not displayed.
    • A score of 1.01 means that the address you entered is not valid.
    Use in all geocoding tasks.
    Offset The offset number refers to the distance (in meters) that is offset from the side of the street link (default is 3 meters.) A value is required; keeping the default value is recommended. Use in all geocoding tasks. See the Avalara  Geo for Communications User Manual for details about street links.

    GeoViewerAddressTab.png
     
  5. Continue adding addresses. 
  6. Click Verify. Results are displayed as follows, including Tax Jurisdiction.
    GeoAddressVerifyResults.png

Additionally, you can do the following:

  • Start over by clicking Clear and entering addresses.
  • Export the results to Excel or .pdf formats.
     ExportGeoResults.png
  • Customize the columns on the output by selecting the menu on the table header. 

    CustomGeoColumns.png
  • Copy, edit or delete entries by selecting the menu at the line level. 
    GeoLineLevelMenu.png

 

Verify an address using latitude and longitude coordinates

Geo has the ability to process the latitude/longitude of a particular location and return specific location information along with the Avalara PCode for taxation purposes. Note that latitude/longitude geocoding does not return complete addresses of the input location. 

To verify and geocode an address using a latitude/longitude pair, do the following:

  1. From Geo in the Customer Portal, select Geo Viewer.
  2. Under Input Location, click the Lat/Long tab.
  3. Enter coordinates.

    Note: There are no Advanced Configuration options when you use this method to verify an address.
  4. Click Verify

     

Import a file for geocoding multiple records at once

You can process multiple records at once to geocode addresses in batch.

  • You can import a .csv file that includes either addresses or latitude/longitude pairs. 
  • Addresses must contain street number and street name. Addresses must also contain either the city/state combination or ZIP code. 
  • Valid examples:
    •  8675 West 96th Street, Overland Park, KS
    •  8675 West 96th Street, 66212

Note:  The .csv file must not contain both addresses and latitude/longitude pairs in the same file. Use only one or the other. 

To create .csv files to import, download the provided file templates to be sure the data you want to geocode is in the correct format:

  1. From Geo in the Customer Portal, select Geo Batch.
  2. Click Add New Record.
  3. In the Select File window, click Templates. A .zip folder is downloaded.
  4. Extract the files from the .zip folder.
  5. Create your own .csv files in your own file system. Be sure to follow these guidelines for your data, as shown in the templates.
    • For latitude/longitude pairs - You must include 3 columns in the first row of the input file. 
      clipboard_e2ccd128bcff0508be48d954327345ce0.png
      • Identifier is required. It is a code you must provide for referencing the coordinate.
    • For address geocoding - You must include 5 columns in the first row of the input file.
      clipboard_e84de000ec8bf467cfaa3b10052c871b2.png
      • Identifier is required. It is a code you must provide for referencing the address.
         
    • Delete any blank rows.
    • Do not use commas in any field. 

To import (upload) a .csv file for geocoding, do the following:

  1. From the Geo Batch tab, click Add New Record.
  2. In the Select File window, click Choose File and then select a .csv file to process.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. Click clipboard_edf6217c8c3ff6791db6499ac3cc8afa7.png to view the log file. View the scrolling log to view the messages about the file's records and any processing messages. The log updates you on progress after every 5000 records.  Processing ends if 5000 consecutive errors are encountered.

    GeoBatchLog.png
  5. Retrieve the results in the .zip file provided by clicking on the output file.
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