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Stanford Geospatial Center resources for teaching and learning: Connecting SGC services

This guide serves as the main information portal for the Stanford Geospatial Center's Support, Services and Collections

Connecting to Stanford Geospatial Center services

Geocoding with services

The most recent documentation for accessing and using geocoding services from ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, Python, R and other venues, can be found at: (Public facing)

The Main REST API Service Endpoint is at: (accessible only on campus, or through VPN)


Geocoding, in the context of this service, is the use of reference datasets (such as street networks, administrative boundaries and gazetteers) to convert text-based locations (such as street addresses, administrative units or placenames) into explicit locations, or latitude/longitude coordinate pairs, in most use cases. These resulting coordinates are often used to extract values from other datasets, based upon location, or for measurement of proximity to other features and phenomena.

The Stanford Geospatial Center has been developing our internal geocoding infrastructure, specifically for research-based use cases. This is our ALPHA Geocoding Server, based upon Esri's ArcGIS Server technology. The server currently provides geocoding services for:

  • US Street Addresses
  • Street AddressesPlace NamesAdministrative Unit centroids, and more, for North and South America
  • Reverse Geocoding - Provide a coordinate pair, and the server will return the nearest valid feature from a number of feature types.

Data documentation

Links to full documentation for the data and "locators" used in this service can be found, below:


Some important points about the current service:

  • The service should not be used with PHI, Protected Health Information (PHI), or other types of High Risk data. Users wishing to work with data related to human subject should consult with IRB for policies concerning de-identification of data and other privacy issues. In general, information passed to the service should not contain data that can be directly linked to a specific individual.
  • The service uses https TLS/SSL encryption for all traffic between client and server
  • The service does not log geocodes made against the service
  • Data passed to the service for augmentation is not retained
  • The geocoding service is hosted on Stanford hardware within the Stanford Network.
  • This service is meant to be used for bulk geocoding of thousands to millions of placenames and/or addresses
  • The service is provided for use by Stanford researchers, but is in ALPHA, currently, and does not carry any Service Level Agreement, or guarantees of performance or uptime
  • The service is in development, and may be inaccessible at some times. When maintenance requires the services to be turned off, we will post messaging for users to our list, as well as our Slack, which you can join at

User who have been added to the SGC Lab Workgroup can access the materials they have saved to their R: Drive, remotely, using the following guidance.

New GIS lab folder structure:

  • R:\Users = GIS user folder, access limited to signed in user, no access to other user folders.
  • Q:\Groups = group folders for collaborative work, request access from SGC staff.
  • Q:\Data = Read only GIS data collection.

Connecting to the GIS user folder from outside the lab:

Note: you must be on the Stanford network on campus or connected through Stanford’s VPN.

Windows computers

  • Click on This PC to open a new File Explorer window (do NOT open Internet Explorer).
  • Go to the Computer tab and select the Map Network Drive dropdown and option.
  • In the window that opens set the Drive letter to R:
  • Set the Folder path for the User connection to \\sul-sgclab\Users\[your SUnet username]
  • Check the box for Reconnect at sign-in if you would like the drive to automatically connect every time you log on.
  • Check the box for Connect using different credentials if you did not use your Stanford username and password to sign in to the computer being used (e.g. a personal laptop). If asked for your username enter it as WIN\[your username]
  • Repeat above with \\sul-sgclab\GIS for the Data and Groups folder connections.

Mac computers

  • From the Finder menu bar, click on Go and select Connect to Server…
  • In the top bar of the window that opens type smb://sul-sgclab/Users/[yourSUNet username].
  • Click the + sign to add this address to the Favorite Servers list.
  • Click the Connect button to open the server connection.
  • In the new dialog that opens select Registered User
  • In the Name field enter WIN\ [your username]
  • Fill in your password and click Connect
  • Repeat above with smb://sul-sgclab/GIS for the Data and Groups folder connections.