Category: mapping

US Cities Most Impacted by Rising Sea Levels

Climate change has many effects, from extreme weather events to habitat displacement and rising sea levels. As the Earth’s temperature rises, polar ice caps and glaciers melt, contributing to the increased volume of water in the world’s oceans. This phenomenon leads to the gradual encroachment of seawater onto coastal areas, posing a significant threat to numerous cities and communities worldwide.

This article examines which US locations are the most affected by rising sea levels. It starts by outlining the 10 cities with over half of their housing at risk.

View U.S. Cities Most Impacted By Sea Level Rise in a full screen map

Rising sea levels have impacted all 118 US cities on the map. Yet some are more affected than others, especially the top 10 with over half of their housing at risk:

  • Miramar, FL
  • Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Davie , FL
  • Hialeah, FL
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Miami Gardens, FL
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Hampton, VA
  • Charleston, SC

Miramar, Florida claims the top spot, with 95.2% of its housing units in vulnerable areas. Miramar is closely followed by Pembroke Pines, Davie, and Hialeah, all in Florida, with 94.5%, 91.8%, and 90.7%, respectively.

Also in Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Gardens, and Hollywood face considerable risk. Cities beyond Florida are also experiencing increased vulnerability (Norfolk, VA, Hampton, VA, and Charleston, SC), though Florida remains the most at-risk state.

Change in Houses at Risk between 2019 & 2020

To give a clearer picture of housing at risk due to rising sea levels, we next turn to the most significant increases—or decreases—between 2019 and 2020.

City State Change in % of houses in risk zones from 2019 to 2020 (%)
Cape Coral FL 28.5
Davie FL 27.8
Hialeah FL 26.2
Norfolk VA 25
Hampton VA 19.5
Jersey City NJ 15.1
Hollywood FL 14.7
Virginia Beach VA 12.3
Fort Lauderdale FL 12.2
Pompano Beach FL 12.1

In several Florida cities, namely Cape Coral, Davie, Hialeah, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach, the percentage increases of risk range from 12.1% to 28.5%. Many of these cities may be familiar, as they also appeared in the top 10.

The only decrease was noted in Bellevue, Washington. In 2019, the city’s share of housing units in risk zones was 0.2%. One year later, in 2020, that share was 0.1%.

The Most Affected States

As you could probably guess after seeing the top 10 and largest changes, Florida is the state where rising sea levels will have the most impact. The list below shows how many cities are affected in the Sunshine State, as well as the next five states that have the most cities affected:

  • Florida — 33 cities affected
  • California — 26
  • Virginia — 9
  • Texas — 7
  • Massachusetts — 6
  • Washington — 5

Beyond having seven cities in the top 10, Florida leads with 33 affected cities concentrated in its southeast region.

California follows Florida, with 26 cities at risk.

And though Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts, and Washington have fewer cities at risk, they’re far from being in the clear.

Visualizing the Density of Affected Cities

It can be difficult to truly understand the impact of rising sea levels in states that have many cities affected. Map markers can overlap, obscuring the view. This is where a heat map can be invaluable—and BatchGeo Pro users have access to exactly that with “Heat View.”

Here’s how to do it:

  • Navigate to your map
  • Right-click to toggle on “Heat View”

It’s the best way to visualize the density of locations and uncover the story within your data.

Try it for yourself with BatchGeo Pro.

Latitude and Longitude Explained

If “Never Eat Soggy Wheat”… or “Waffles” was one of the first things you learned about geography in elementary school, you’re not the only one.

Mnemonic devices can help us remember anything, from the four directions — North, East, South, and West — to something as complex as latitude and longitude. For example, you may have learned that latitude almost always comes first in a coordinate pair because alphabetically, the “a” in latitude comes before the “o” in longitude.

If that’s all you remember about geographic coordinates, stick around. We’ll explain the three components of latitude and longitude, their most common formats, and how to use them to get the most out of your data.

The Components of Latitude and Longitude

Latitude and longitude are the horizontal and vertical lines cartographers, mathematicians, and even everyday Google Maps users use to pinpoint specific locations on Earth.

While you can’t actually reach out and physically touch 44°27’37.7237″, -110°49’41.2950″ (the latitude and longitude of Old Faithful), for example, most maps will include these invisible lines, which, incidentally, are called a geographic coordinate pair when together.

All latitude and longitude coordinates consist of degrees (°), minutes (’), and seconds (’’). Yet only one format showcases them all.

The first, and thus the oldest latitude and longitude format is the aptly named degrees minutes seconds, or DMS. Here’s an example:

44°27**’37.7237, -110°4941.2950“**

Latitude and Longitude Formats

Each latitude or longitude coordinate accounts for the degrees, minutes, and seconds we introduced in the previous section. However, the presentation can differ. Here are some other formats:

  • Degrees minutes seconds
  • Decimal degrees
  • Degrees minutes
  • Directional degrees minutes

We’ve already reviewed the DMS format, but decimal degrees are arguably just as popular, considering many mapping platforms, like Google Maps, exclusively use this format to indicate points on Earth. Here’s an example:

44.4604788, -110.8281375

Meanwhile, less common is the degrees minutes format, which depicts just that: 44°27.62873’, -110°49.68825’. Then we have directional degrees minutes (44°27.62873’N 110°49.68825’W), one of the few formats to include the abbreviation for North or South, East or West.

Too Many Formats? Convert Them to Decimal Degrees

If all of these formats seem daunting to remember, don’t worry. Each can be converted to any of the other formats using online converters or even Excel formulas.

Make Sense of Your Geographic Data

This article has covered the basics of latitude and longitude. Yet even we occasionally find ourselves staring blankly into a spreadsheet containing rows upon rows of coordinates.

To better understand your geographic data, plot your points using an online mapping tool, such as our geocoder.

View Geysers of Yellowstone in a full screen map

Here’s how:

  • Open your spreadsheet
  • Select (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A) and copy (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C) your data
  • Navigate to in your web browser
  • Click on the example data in the box and paste (Ctrl+V or Cmd+V) your own data
  • Ensure you have the proper location data columns by going to “Set Options” to validate and set options
  • Select the appropriate location column from each dropdown
  • Click “Make Map” and watch your very own plotted map appear!

Get started today at

Add Your Geocaches to an Excel Spreadsheet

Buried treasure isn’t just for pirate-obsessed children. People of nearly any age get excited about the prospect of hidden gems. In the case of geocaching, it’s small containers (called “caches”) filled with trinkets.

Those who participate in this (mostly) free pastime follow given latitude and longitude coordinates and hints in order to find what’s hidden. Once discovered, geocachers exchange a different trinket for one in the cache for the next hunter to find.

One of the most popular places to search the millions of geocaches worldwide is Millions of players use the Geocaching app and GPS-enabled devices to find geocaches.

You can also export your geocaching finds from the site, allowing you to visualize them in other formats (such as a spreadsheet) and share with others.

We’ll show you how, as well as how to put your new spreadsheet of geocaches on a map you can share with others.

Download a File from

Before you can add the data of your geocaching finds into a spreadsheet tool like Excel or Google Sheets, you must first download your information from

Only Geocaching Premium members can download multiple caches in any given file type. Those with Premium also have the option to download the more detailed GPX file of all of their geocaches. This contains all of the typical information (name, coordinates, type), along with data about placed date, placed by, container size, and much more.

To obtain this file, recommends those with Premium generate custom downloadable geocache queries (which can contain up to 1,000 caches at a time), called Pocket Queries.

  • Sign in to your Premium account or sign up at
  • Navigate to the Pocket Query page
  • Below your regular Pocket Query options, locate the My Finds sections
  • Select Add to Queue to run it

This returns all geocaches you found, including archived geocaches, and your log entries.

Allow a few minutes (or more, depending on how many Geocaches you’ve found) for your Pocket Query to be ready. will send you an email.

If you have Windows, tools like GSAK may simplify this process. Now let’s move on to the second step in exporting your geocaching finds to Excel: converting the file you just downloaded to something Excel will accept.

Convert Geocaching Files to Excel

To make your newly downloaded GPX file usable, you’ll need to export the coordinates into a list format. You can do that by diving into the data yourself, or find a tool like this to convert to an Excel format with separate columns for all the information. Look for it amongst the waypoints, since GPX also stores route data.
Once converted, you can remove certain columns from your sheet, especially those that are blank. Along with a bit of Excel magic (like Split text to coulmns), you can ensure your spreadsheet only contains the geocaching data you want:

Note that a My Finds Pocket Query will only return Geocache Found, though there are a variety of other queries you can make that will result in other geocache statuses. This would come in incredibly useful if you then created a map to view and filter your geocaches.

Before you create a map, it can be helpful to create a single column to hold your coordinates, rather than separate latitude and longitude fields. You can do this in Excel by combining separate columns. For example, create a column in the far left called “coordinates,” then use an Excel function to combine the next two columns (“x” and “y” in the screenshot above):

=CONCATENATE(C2, ", ", B2)

Then copy that cell and paste it in every row below to create coordinates like: 46, -123

Now you’re ready to create your map!

Track Your Geocache Scores on a Map

Discovering a geocache can be exhilarating. Why not elongate the excitement by viewing all of your finds on a map?
You can copy and paste the entire spreadsheet (including the headers) into our mapping tool to generate a map like this:

View Geocaching Example in a full screen map

  • Open your Geocaching spreadsheet from the previous section
  • Select (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A) and copy (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C) your data
  • Open your web browser and navigate to
  • Click on the location data box with the example data in it, then paste (Ctrl+V or Cmd+V) your own data
  • You’ll want to navigate to the advanced options to select your latitude and longitude columns
  • Review other automatic options to make sure your data is accurate
  • Click “Make Map” and watch as the geocoder performs its process

Geocaches are only the start of the data you can put on a map. Ready to make your own? Get started for free at