I am preparing my journal paper for submission. For the data analysis in this paper, I utilized geo-positional coordinates of all the convenience stores locations in my study area (approximately 90 stores, i.e., 90 set of coordinates). This coordinate dataset for the 90 store locations was obtained from searching on Google maps. I would like to know how to cite where I collected/retrieved this data. Given that it is over 90 stores, how would I go about doing this? Any insights would be appreciated. Cheers.

Edit: Please see the 'Example' under section 'APA 7th Edition' here. You can see in their example that this a single citation for map directions between two places. In my case the information I am extracting from Google maps are 90 individual place locations/GPS coordinates. Would it then call for a citation for each? (Of course not, as this would be ridiculous, I am simply looking for the most appropiate way to cite the 90 locations in a combined way).


1 Answer 1


There are two separate issues here:

  1. How do you cite the website that was used to obtain this data?

  2. How do you cite (or rather, include a reference to) the actual data that you used for analysis?

1. How do you cite the website that was used to obtain this data?

Here, you can just cite the website URL (maps.google.com). Don't bother trying to cite the extended URL including the search term you used, unless it is really necessary; it would be more natural to just describe how the data was obtained in words. You can use something like the following:

To obtain the data, the Google Maps website [1] was visited on April 12, 2020 from [[approximate location]], and the search text [[search text]] was used to collect the geo-positional coordinates for 90 convenience stores in the area.

Then the citation [1] should look something like:

Google, Inc. Google Maps. URL maps.google.com, retrieved April 12, 2020

The exact format is not so important as long as the source is clear to the reader. If you are looking for more detailed advice on how to format citations for website URLs, see this question (or alternatively, this question).

2. How do you cite (or rather, include a reference to) the actual data that you used for analysis?

It would be most helpful to put together a repository of the raw data that you obtained, for example on Github or Pastebin, though you can also include it in an "appendix" to the article if this is an option. Regardless, you can add in your paper a comment (or footnote) such as

The raw data that we obtained in this way is available at [[URL or appendix]].

  • Appreciate your feedback.Please see my Edit to the question and feel free to add more detail to your answer if you see fit, Cheers.
    – user121
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 21:41
  • @user121 I think my answer still applies: you should just have one citation, maps.google.com. I don't see why you want to make a citation which combines the individual locations. Remember that citations are for the reader. If the reader wants info about all the locations you used, they should consult your data, not your citations list. Thus you should provide your data separately from the citation. Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 22:39

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