I need a way to obtain the coordinates for all of one type of store/restaurant in a country. For example, all the McDonald's in South Africa.

I'd like to use R or any tool that is more appropriate. I've looked into using Google's Geocoding API but I'm not sure if it integrates well with R. My experience with using APIs is limited.

  • 1
    Do you already have the addresses of all the Points of Interest already? This can be done with R and a bit of programming, but you might find better luck using GIS software. Have you done any research into using QGIS or gvSIG? Nov 30, 2016 at 4:10
  • I'm just clarifying: You want to obtain coordinates for all stores/restaurants that match a name. Do you already have a list of all stores/restaurants and their addresses? (Then you could use geocoding/address services like Google Maps or SmartyStreets.) Do you want the coordinates output to a spreadsheet? (You could use Google Maps API and some code to search places then print results.) Do you want to make a map? (There's a good answer for that below.) Jan 7, 2017 at 0:32
  • Used Google Places API
    – Dr_Watcher
    Jan 7, 2017 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


A manual workflow:

You can create a google account, go to drive.google.com. Upload your dataset, say as a csv or xlsx file. In your datafile, Put the street address + city in a single column, call it , say, "location".

Use the File/Import menu to import the csv (or .xlsx file) file to a new Google spreadsheet.

Then import the spreadsheet into a new empty Google Fusion Table (-> Tutorial ). This is kind of an online shapefile, looks like an Excel File with just 1 worksheet. Added benefit: It has Geocoding built-in.

When it's done converting Spreadsheet to Fusion Table, select the entire "location" column defined above, and select File/Geocode... A progressbar will appear when Google Fusion table begins to call the Geocoding API internally. After 1-2 minutes : Done! A new "map" worksheet / tab will appear in the Fusion Table.

This is possible for about < 1000 addresses per sheet/Table. Exact quota number I don't remember. These geocoded values you can export as csv, zip, or KML.

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