ALPS: Address List Processing System

Rev. 10-12-16


Standard and Custom Geospatial Services from the Missouri Census Data Center


Basic Definitions

There are two basic terms we need to define for the purposes of ALPS.
  1. What's an "Address List"?
    It could be, but does not have to be, a list (in machine-readable format, ie. a file) of street addresses. More generally, it is a collection of entities that have a spatial location associated with them. A street address, including city and state and/or a 5-digit ZIP code is such an entity. For the purposes of this product the entity ("location") must be within the United States and must either already contain latitude, longitude coordinates, or contain some other information (such as a street address) that allow it to be "geocoded", i.e. to have such coordinates appended. Some examples of address lists:

    • A file containing the street address, city, state and ZIP code of every Starbucks restaurant in the state of California.

    • A file containing one record for every nuclear power plant in the United States, containing the latitude and longitude coordinates of each site. (Does not require a site address if it already has the coordinates; the address is just the typical means to the actual end of assigning latitude-longitude coordinates to the record).

    • A file maintained by the state with the address of every visitor to any of the state's parks within the past 10 years.

  2. What's a "Geospatial Service"?
    It is any processing of the location data on an address list that provides information regarding of those locations. This information can be provided at either the location level (i.e. one set if information for every location on the Address List), or it can be a summary of those locations, such as the number (of locations on the file) located in rural areas or in predominently poor or Hispanic neighborhoods. The primary service offered by the batchcaps system involves the creation of data describing the characteristics of an n-mile radius of the locations. For example, we can provide the number of persons living within a 20 mile radius of each of those nuclear power plants. We can also tell you what the poverty rate and median household income are for each of those 20-mile circular areas.

What Geospatial Services Are Provided

If you are familiar with the Missouri Census Data Center's web site and the kinds of data/applications found there then you'll know that we specialize in data from the Census Bureau and other government agencies, and that we also specialize in issues of Census (and other related) Geography. See, for example, our MABLE/Geocorr application and our All About ZIP Codes resource page. We also provide a series of web applications that allow users to generate circular arear profiles around user-specified locations. These are the CAPS applications; we have three of them at the moment: one that accesses 2000 census data, one for 2010 census data, and one for the latest American Community Survey data. Some of the services we provide involve doing custom or batch processing where we essentially invoke these applications for each location on the client's address file.

In this section we'll describe the services that we currently provide. Fees associated with the services are provided in the Service Charges table, below.

These are the standard services we provide as of June, 2014. We can also do other customized services when a client has a very specific processing need. Fees for such customized services can be negotiated on a case by case basis.

The following standard (geospatial) services are currently offered.
Service Code Description
Geocode1 Geocoding from an address. Input is a city-style street address (no rural route, P.O. Box or intersections). ZIP code or City/state required. Preprocessing to identify the street address (from among multiple address fields) and/or edit them is extra. The results are latitude, longitude coordinates and latest (2010) state, county, tract and census block codes. Matching is done against the latest Census Bureau's TIGER-based address file and match rates can vary widely depending on the nature of the address list. Rural areas and new construction areas may have relatively poor match rates. Fees are only assessed on successful matches. Service does not include any processing of non-matches other than to provide user with a separate file of unmatched records with a reason-not-matched code.
Geocode2 Geocoding to add standard county-tract-block codes when latitude, longitude are already provided on input list.
Geocode3 Geocoding to add user-specified geographic codes (from those available in the MABLE database) when 2010 census block code is already available on input list. (Add codes such as Urban/Rural, place, county subdivision, state legislsative district,etc.)
CAPSacs User can specify up to 3 radius values, each between 1 and 50 miles and whether they want to use block groups or census tracts us the geographic units to use when estimating the circular area. For each location/radius the standard ACS profile variables are written to an output file in any of several formats (csv, dbf and SAS data set).
CAPSsf1 Same idea as CAPSacs except choice of geographies is between block and block group. The data that will be aggregated for the circular areas is the MCDC's standard profile based on 2010 Summary File 1 data (same as with caps10c web application.)

Service Charges

All ALPS services are priced at $63.36 per hour (as of August 2018) for setup, testing, running the request, verification, and delivery, with a one-hour minimum charge. Estimates are free. Send your request details, including the number of records (locations) in your source file, to Glenn Rice at MCDC.