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Geocoding Policy Holders Locations in Guatemala – MiCRO’s Initiative PDF Print E-mail

Geocoding Policy Holders Locations in Guatemala – MiCRO’s Initiative

MiCRO (www.microrisk.org), a specialty re-insurance company, a social enterprise focused on the consequences of natural disasters, bridging the divide between the world’s insurance markets. It seeks to improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable against natural hazards like hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, and floods.

In 2015, Micro needed the assistance of a GISCorps volunteer in geocoding the locations of small-holder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs across Guatemala. Sami Snunu, a GIS professional from Calgary, Alberta, Canada was then selected and began by helping accurately, consistently, and easily assigning geospatial coordinates to its individual policyholders.

The solution provided was to design an open-source GeoKettle automated script,. This script receives the descriptive information, in Excel format about the location of the client including department, municipality, and in many cases village or neighbourhood; this information is not easily and directly convertible into location information as the system of addresses in Guatemala is relatively informal. In addition, the database contained data input anomalies and other inconsistencies which needed to be corrected automatically. The script then matches these locations with the addresses documented in GeoNames.org, then exports the results of the point geometry locations output into KML and Excel formats.

Figure1: The Geokettle script designed to automate the geocoding process

Figure 2: The Excel format result, showing the locations longitude and latitude are identified

Figure 3: The policy holders locations are shown in Google Earth in KML format

Figure 4: Sample of one of the locations of poly holders showing the attributes result in the KML format