Geocoding API: Meaning, Use Cases, and How to Best Use It
What is a Geocoding API?
A geocoding API is an application programming interface service that converts a full address into Latitude and Longitude coordinates. Alternatively, a reverse geocoding API converts latitude and longitude data into a full address.
A geocoding API is a must-have for almost all industries and businesses. It returns accurate and valid addresses with their latitudinal and longitudinal data.
For example, you can get the coordinates “40.758896, -73.985130” for the Times Square in New York City.
You can use PostGrid’s industry leading address verification API to get access to geocoding API and reverse geocoding API.
But what is a geocoding API, and how to use it?
This blog answers this question, providing deeper insights into the subject and helping businesses incorporate geocoding into their everyday operations.
What Are Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding APIs?
Geocoding provides the geographic coordinates associated with a given postal address, offering significant advantages to businesses. Some benefits of using an API for geocoding include
- Integrating geographical data into your customer database,
- Enabling location analytics and
- Validating postal addresses in payment and shipment forms.
In addition to coordinates, the API furnishes essential details about each location, like the timezone and well-organized, formatted addresses. Moreover, it modifies incorrect addresses, errors, or misspellings.
Reverse geocoding involves converting a location specified by geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude) into a human-readable address or place name.
In contrast to forward geocoding, reverse geocoding enables the identification of nearby street addresses, places, and areal subdivisions such as neighborhoods, counties, states, or countries.
Many people confuse the geocoding and reverse geocoding API because they sound similar. However, they perform different functions. Luckily, you can do both using a single platform, like PostGrid.
The primary goal of the reverse geocoding API is to answer questions like “What’s here?” or, if the location is not directly on top of a feature, “What’s near this location?”
Reverse geocoding returns the most relevant feature near an input location based on a prioritized hierarchy of feature types to answer it.
Companies have many reasons for maintaining records of physical addresses. However, organizing this information according to the unique postal standards of countries worldwide can be impractical. Hence, geocodes come into play.
Geocodes serve as a universal standard for identifying locations anywhere in the world. They use latitudes and longitudes to find applications in developing third-party apps, enabling site-to-store features in eCommerce experiences, and facilitating logistics planning.
The API for geocoding also holds significance in disaster preparedness, primarily in regions experiencing weather-related disruptions. Latitude and longitude data can aid in detecting challenges to public health. Geocoding becomes the sole means to identify or describe a location, primarily in areas lacking formal address systems. Partnering with an API development company can further enhance the functionality and reliability of geocoding services, ensuring businesses have access to precise and up-to-date geographical data for their critical operations.
Geocoding API Use Cases
Converting addresses into coordinates and mapping locations proves advantageous for your business, fostering improved targeting, strategic planning, and ultimately – revenue growth. It provides accurate data for visualization and facilitates customer satisfaction and delivery logistics.
Businesses use the geocoding API for many reasons. But some of the best applications are:
PostGrid’s geocoding tool converts addresses from your customer databases into corresponding coordinates. Thus, it simplifies using your data for location-based marketing and analytics.
For example, companies use an API for geocoding to determine their customers’ density in cities or localities. It lets them plan product launches or marketing campaigns accordingly.
Geocoding a sufficient number of addresses in specific areas and plotting them enables you to identify patterns based on the data. Recognizing clusters in particular regions can dictate your marketing and retail strategies.
Validate Payment or Shipment Addresses
Address validation, or verification, involves confirming the correctness and deliverability of customer addresses.
Fortunately – PostGrid’s geocoding API also lets you standardize and cross-check mailing addresses against the USPS CASS and NCOA databases.
Address accuracy issues can result in annoyed customers, low revenue, lost opportunities, and diminished trust in your brand. However, you can resolve these issues arising from unstructured or misspelled addresses by validating the geocoded coordinates.
Tackle address accuracy challenges proactively and prevent delivery issues by validating addresses using our address validation API.
Find Map Routes
Use the geographic coordinates of different places to pinpoint delivery locations and optimize routes for the fastest, most efficient arrivals.
You can ensure on-time deliveries, boost customer satisfaction, and reduce fuel costs, through route optimization.
Geocoding API Features
You can avail yourself of many geocoding features using our API, like
National and International Postal Address Search
PostGrid allows you to narrow your search to any US or international address.
Our geocoding API expands beyond global borders and ensures that international addresses appear in the language of your choice. We use a diverse range of datasets, including USPS CASS, NCOA, and others, to guarantee comprehensive support for addresses on an international scale.
PostGrid helps you cross-check and get the geocodes for 245+ countries. Hence, you can manage your local, national, and international databases in one place.
PostGrid’s geocoding API conducts thorough searches, even when you enter or upload ambiguous formatting, errors, or incomplete information in the address string.
Our system parses and cleans up requests, executing multiple search iterations with different address variations. The API selects the most fitting and accurate result, ensuring confidence in every geocoding query.
Our commitment to precision and scalability allows us to cross-check hundreds of thousands of postal addresses in the blink of an eye.
Set Up Filters of Your Choice
Knowing how to use geocoding API empowers you to narrow your search criteria.
Users can prioritize specific locations by setting biases, ensuring that preferred areas appear first on the search results. This level of customization adds depth to the geocoding process, catering to your unique preferences or requirements.
The API accepts additional parameters for tailored results. Users can apply filters based on many dimensions, like the country, state, city, postcode, street, or ZIP+4 code. Learn more about Zip Code API.
Moreover, you might set up search limitations by country, view box, or radius, allowing for a more focused and efficient geocoding experience.
Flexibility and Low Prices
Our geocoding API offers versatility by accommodating free-form and structured addresses.
You can enter your address as “Newark, New Jersey, Ferry Street” and still get results for the correct entry: 58 Ferry ST, Newark, NJ 07105.
The API for geocoding lets you input a complete address string or individual address components. Our system can process and provide accurate geocoding results always.
The best part is our API for geocoding comes at a reasonable price. PostGrid offers the lowest rates and ensures everyone uses the application or solution hassle-free.
PostGrid’s geocoding API caters to on-demand and bulk API requests, each serving different functionalities and needs.
You can download our address verification software or use the API to cross-check and get the coordinates for any number of postal addresses you need.
We don’t put any minimum or maximum volume restrictions, letting businesses use the features based on their requirements.
On-Demand Address Verification and Geocoding
The API returns the corresponding location for one address when you send single geocoding requests to PostGrid.
This process is synchronous. It means that users promptly receive a response upon sending a request.
The primary objective of single-address API calls is to facilitate real-time address searches and provide immediate address verification, standardization, and rooftop geocoding services.
Batch Address Verification and Geocoding
PostGrid’s API for geocoding supports batch requests, allowing users to submit up to 200,000 addresses in a single request. It lets businesses to verify bulk addresses and save time, get the coordinates of their entire dataset in one search.
Unlike single requests, the batch processing is asynchronous. Users initiate a geocoding job by submitting a batch request and receiving results through a separate API call.
Its primary purpose is to search and validate extensive databases of delivery addresses in a consolidated and streamlined manner.
This dual functionality lets users be flexible in choosing the appropriate method based on their specific needs.
Our geocoding API meets diverse geospatial requirements, whether requiring speedy results for individual addresses or handling large datasets for mailing and other reasons.
Why and How to Use Geocoding API?
The geocoding API with its reverse geocoding counterpart is highly popular in various domains. This tool is instrumental in accurately determining locations worldwide, providing data in diverse formats. Notably, its standout feature lies in its exceptional accuracy, positioning it as a reliable choice.
Our API matches the precision levels of the best market players compared to Google or Bing. Here’s the good news – transitioning from other platforms and APIs to our product is seamless, ensuring a hassle-free experience without any inconveniences.
You can use the HTTP interface to access this service conveniently. All geocoding requests necessitate the submission of a query or details of what you’re attempting to locate.
Initial data can take the form of an actual address or coordinates, including latitude and longitude, primarily for reverse geocoding.
Upon making a query, the API generates a response, presenting a JSON-formatted document featuring the most pertinent results from your request. This user-friendly interface and robust functionality make the API for geocoding a versatile and accessible solution for diverse geospatial needs.
PostGrid allows you to use the test and live environments to experience the features before paying and using our address verification APIs.
You can integrate the geocoding API into your CRM, website, or platform.
For example, PostGrid helps eCommerce users add our APIs to their online platforms to block incorrect addresses and capture accurate location details, including the user’s geographical coordinates.
More About PostGrid’s Geocoding API
PostGrid’s address verification APIs (autocomplete API, standardization, verification, and geocoding) offer many benefits to users.
They help businesses convert inaccurate and unformatted addresses into valid and deliverable databases.
PostGrid uses rooftop geocoding, which is the most accurate type.
For example, parcel geocoding considers the entire locality to find a location’s latitudes and longitudes. However, street geocoding is more accurate, helping you put your finger on a specific locality.
The rooftop geocoding API exceeds these benefits because it places the coordinates above the address. Thus, you have better chances of capturing the correct results.
All geocodes you get through PostGrid have an accuracy report. You also receive the details on how we determined the geographical coordinates.
This information is valuable to many users because it helps them understand location-based customer density and other elements.
PostGrid’s address verification APIs, including geocoding, are scalable. They can handle millions of API requests without the risk of slowdowns or technical glitches.
Also, our REST geocoding API has isolated test and live environments, simplifying testing for users. They can switch to the live API keys whenever they are satisfied with the results and are ready to use the features.
We document every point via the OpenAI. Thus, users can access it through their favorite platforms, languages, and tools.
PostGrid uses the USPS authoritative database to verify your addresses and determine the geocodes.
Being CASS-certified allows us to use the official datasets and resources, ensuring you only get the most updated and accurate results.
Our geocoding API returns the necessary coordinates for all addresses on your list. However, it also provides information on the deliverability and validity of those mailing addresses.
Hence, you can rest assured that PostGrid differentiates between invalid and valid addresses, saving you the time and trouble of mailing something to non-existent or inaccurate locations.
Get a demo to learn how to use our geocoding API and get onboard!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes. PostGrid’s geocoding API handles on-demand and bulk requests. Thus, you can upload a list with any number of postal addresses and get accurate results hassle-free.
Also, our scalability and speed ensure you don’t have to wait long to get your coordinates.
Definitely! Our services extend beyond the US. You can standardize, validate, and get the geographical coordinates for more than 245 countries via our APIs or software.
Yes. PostGrid is well-equipped to handle addresses with incomplete or invalid details, like missing ZIP codes or incorrect street names.
We standardize, verify, and modify the addresses before deriving the geocodes to avoid accuracy-related issues.
Single-address requests process single addresses, where bulk API calls ask for deriving the geocodes for hundreds and thousands of records.
However, you don’t face many differences when processing on-demand and bulk API requests. PostGrid ensures all API calls get speedy and valid results.