Geocoding Services

Our geocoding processes incorporate the U.S. Census Bureau's Tiger/Line® data as well as other industry approved geocoding sources to provideU.S. Census Bureau Tiger/Line® compliance level geocoding services to over 30% of HMDA/CRA reporting institutions.

ge•o•code (je'o-kod) n. A set of letters or numbers representing the geographic location of a point in the plane of the Earth. - vt. geocoded, geocoding, geocodes. 1. To convert into a geographic code. 2. HMDA/CRA Compliance. The process of converting a residential or commercial property's street address into its corresponding MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) State and County, and Census tract codes. 3. Mapping. The process of converting a street address into its corresponding latitude and longitude coordinates.

Most geocoding professionals will agree that geocoding is a relative term, depending upon the specific application and desired output. Compliance-grade geocoding applications, for example, require a high degree of precision, completeness and strict adherence to formatting. Marketing-grade geocoding applications, in contrast, typically permit lower precision and completeness levels.

Selecting the right geocoding solution requires careful consideration of the purpose, expected volume and frequency of processing, the desired degree of precision and the immediacy of the results. If you are looking for a geocoding solution, RATA Associates, LLC is ready and willing to help. RATA has specialized in providing geocoding services since 1987, and today is the leading provider of outsourced geocoding services to the financial services industry. We will help you identify the geocoding solution that most cost-effectively meets your business purpose.

And when you choose RATA as your geocoding solution, you can rest assured that you have made the right decision. Using our proprietary processes, RATA's highly skilled professional staff geocodes millions of address records each and every year. There's simply no substitute for that kind of experience.

So whether you choose our QuickPoint on-line geocoder, or our Premium, Standard or Custom geocoding services, you will get the best value for your budget dollar. Guaranteed!

Premium Services
If your company needs Compliance-grade or high precision geocoding, you need RATA's Premium geocoding services. Address files geocoded to Compliance-grade standards will:

  • Reflect data definitions for the current reporting year only
  • Contain geocode results for every address record processed
  • Have no detectable errors
  • Have, what we believe to be, the highest precision levels of any geocoding provider in the country
  • Contain geocode results that are traceable to the address matching engine and reference file used to produce them

Address files received for Premium geocoding are processed iteratively by RATA's skilled staff through each of our multiple automated and interactive address standardization and matching routines until all unmatched addresses that can possibly be geocoded are resolved. RATA's proprietary Premium processing method thus assures that your files are geocoded to the highest possible completion and precision levels.

Though it is possible under optimal circumstances for a company using other geocoding solutions to match the quality results of RATA's Premium geocoding services, chances are no one can beat our results. That's because no single address-matching engine or reference file can return 100% complete and accurate results all of the time, and it takes experienced and skilled staff to perform the interactive portion of the work.

Most companies that attempt to geocode their data internally use only one address matching engine, and few companies are able to sustain a staff experienced in executing the process. RATA uses seven (7) proprietary and commercially available address matching engines, organized in a 13-step process that maximizes the strengths and minimizes the weaknesses of each matching engine. Our Geocoding Team boasts more than 65 years of collective geocoding experience, and has geocoded more than 35 million addresses during the past 5 years. You employ all of these resources and experience when you license RATA's Premium geocoding services.

The standard geocode data elements returned to the customer purchasing Premium processing are: MSA/MD (Metropolitan Statistical Area/Metropolitan Division), FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) State, County, and Census tract codes. Latitude and Longitude coordinates are also provided at no additional charge.

Premium geocoding is typically completed within one business day. Express three day geocoding is available upon request for an additional fee for volumes under 30,000 addresses.

For additional details about our Premium geocoding services, please see our HMDA/CRA Geocoding Services page.

For pricing and ordering information, please contact our Sales department.

Standard Services
If your company needs Marketing-grade geocoding, you need RATA's Standard (Bulk) geocoding services. Bulk processing is used for business applications that do not require highly accurate or 100% complete address matching. All Standard address files received for Bulk geocoding are processed with our automated U.S. Postal Service address standardization and matching routines before geocoding.

RATA's Standard Bulk geocoding service utilizes four of our seven address matching engines. For an additional fee, RATA offers Enhanced Bulk processing that includes one additional address matching routine that will typically improve the composite file match rate but may reduce the overall file accuracy level.

The standard geocode data elements returned to the customer purchasing Bulk processing are: MSA/MD (Metropolitan Statistical Area/Metropolitan Division), FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) State, County, and Census tract codes. Latitude and Longitude coordinates are also provided at no additional charge.

Standard geocoding is typically completed and returned to the client within 3 business days. Express 24 Hour turn around is available upon request for an additional fee.

For pricing, production timing and ordering information, please contact our Geocoding Services department.

Custom Services
RATA will customize its geocoding services for business applications whose needs are not completely met by either our Premium or Standard geocoding services. Our Geocoding Services department will work with you to define which data elements you need returned, the level of accuracy and completeness desired, the format(s) you will use to send us your address data, and the format(s) you want us to use to return the geocoded results.

Here are some of the data elements that can be returned for the addresses you provide:

Geographic Data Elements Postal Coding Possibilities
Latitude Delivery Point
Longitude CRRT (Carrier Route)
State Code Urbanization (Puerto Rico)
County Code LACS (Locatable Address Conversion System)
MSA/MD Zip + 4 Code
Census Tract LOT Number (Line of Travel)
Block Group LOT Order (Line of Travel)
Time Zone ZIP Type
Congressional District Place Codes ZIP Facility

If you are looking for data elements not listed above, be sure to speak with our sales staff. We will be happy to research alternative data sources to solve your unique geocoding needs.

For pricing, production timing and ordering information, please contact our Geocoding Services department.

Can RATA geocode records in US territories?
RATA is one of the few companies nationwide able to geocode records in the US territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. We use proprietary geocoders designed by RATA since commercial geocoders ignore these areas.  

What is RATA's Geocoding fallback hierarchy?
RATA will always attempt to obtain Absolute Match values for all addresses being processed. If an address is not unable to be assigned an Absolute Match after manual interaction, then fallback methods will be utilized. RATA will always return the most precise fallback value that can be determined for a particular address (ZIP+4, ZIP+2, 5 digit ZIP). All records containing fallback values will be assigned Geocode precision codes so that they might be reviewed, corrected and re-geocoded.

Can RATA Geocode Rural Routes and P.O. Boxes?
RATA can correctly geocode Rural Routes in most cases. Many geocoders will assign values that correlate to the Post Office that does the delivery, but our process involves data that can in most cases geocode more closely to the actual property location on the Rural Route itself! As for PO Boxes, RATA's process in most cases returns the geocode values for the Post Office location itself, since this is where the PO Box resides. In fallback situations, both the Rural Route and PO Box matches can result in a centroid of the ZIP code in cases where data are simply not available.

Why is GeoPlus right for Compliance Applications?
Regulators emphasize that the starting point of CRA and HMDA compliance is good quality data. The single most important aspect of data quality is how well it is geocoded. RATA Associates, LLC has assisted lending institutions since 1989 in complying with HMDA and CRA needs. We are recognized among all regulatory agencies as an experienced and professional service bureau whose geocoding results can be trusted. When you use RATA's Service Geocoding you will:

  • Be spared the substantial time required to interactively or manually match addresses to the correct census tract.
  • No longer need to rely on Zip Code centroiding to assign a census tract.
  • Be confident that your next exam's geocoding results will meet all regulatory requirements.
  • Have more time to focus on analyzing your data.

How does GeoPlus Work?
GeoPlus is the optimal solution for CRA and HMDA geocoding. The Comply™ Suite allows you to easily transmit address files to RATA's geocoding facility in Florida and electronically receive them back geocoded and ready to use in the Comply™ Suite for analysis and submission.

Using a proprietary methodology developed and improved over the last 10 years of regulatory reporting, RATA takes your address files and returns the highest precision-level geocode possible for each individual address (MSA, FIPS State, FIPS County and Census Tract). The addresses are processed as follows:

  • All addresses are standardized using both U.S. Postal Service CASS certified software and manual techniques.
  • All addresses are processed through a thirteen-stage process designed to maximize the number of accurate matches.