I'm trying to figure out a way to assign GPS coordinates to core GPS values.

For example,

I've got tons of store locations (with long & lat coordinates) and I'd like to group them to one of x core GPS groups (cities).

I know how to perform a k-means cluster analysis and let the algorithm identify the clusters itself, but in this case I know how many groups I need and where I'd like their centers to be.

Is there a way I can use the K-NN algorithm to automatically associate GPS coordinates to group centers defined by the user?


PS. I currently program in Stata, but if this task is easier in either Python, R, or SAS, please feel free to post how.

  • $\begingroup$ k-means in its basic form cannot decide on k (you decide on it). $\endgroup$
    – ttnphns
    Aug 21, 2015 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


When you predefine the "clusters" this is called classification.

Use nearest neighbor classification to map each user to the nearest city.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. So if establishing city GPS coordinates is how I define the clusters, is there any tutorial on how to do this and with which program would this be easiest to do? $\endgroup$
    – macsmith
    Aug 22, 2015 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ It's so basic, you do not need any program at all. But "nearest neighbor classification" is the search term you need. $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2015 at 17:24

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