Tips for cleaning spreadsheet data in preparation for plotting addresses or x, y data:
- Split the address information into multiple columns for (1) street address, (2) city, (3) state, and (4) 5-digit ZIP code. For instance, the address 411 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC 27708 should be split into 4 columns in a csv file. When you plot these addresses in QGIS, the program will ask for the address, city, state, and zip in separate columns.
- For latitude and longitude data, make sure there are 2 columns and any extraneous characters are deleted (i.e. commas, parenthesis). Longitude is the X value and latitude is the Y value. Also, make sure you do not delete any minus (-) symbols as this will define the spatial location (negative longitudes are west of Greenwich, and negative latitudes are south of the equator).
- When adding x, y data or data with address information, the saved document must be a csv file.