5 Ways to do Geocoding for Free

by Evelina Bezubec
on Sep 9, 2019

Geocoding is the process of giving coordinates to an address or postcodes. By converting the address into a latitude and longitude, the location can be displayed on a map. Let’s take a look at five ways to do geocoding for free. We will overview three API’s for geocoding that you can integrate into your application, and two stand-alone geocoding solutions.

 

1. TravelTime Search API Geocoder

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  • You need to obtain an API key through our website to gain access to the free geocoder.
  • Geocoding is done by sending a query to the API, exact query can be found in geocoding documentation.
  • A query can be an address, a postcode or a venue.
  • When sending a request you can specify a focus point or country.
  • The returned response is in GeoJSON format.
  • You can complete geocoding and reverse geocoding for free.

2. QGIS with plugins

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  • QGIS is open source, licensed under the GNU General Public License, and offers services for free. 
  • QGIS offers geocoding plugins for free, couple of them are - MMQGIS plugin for geocoding addresses in bulk and GeoCoding plugin for geocoding one address at a time.
  • TravelTime has a plugin for QGIS as well, our plugin allows to not only search and reverse geocoding, but regular features of TravelTime API as well.
  • MMQGIS is a set of Python plugins for manipulating vector map layers in Quantum GIS.
  • You can geocode using Nominatim and Google web services. 
  • You can reverse geocode by clicking on the map canvas to get an address. 
  • For the GeoCoding plugin you can type an address into the dialog box. The geocoder pinpoints that location on the map.

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3. Data Science Toolkit API

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  • Developers can install the entire Data Science Toolkit API unit for free on their own Amazon or VMWare instances.
  • The service is not meant to be used directly for production.
  • Data is returned as JSON.
  • Reverse geocoding is not supported through this interface.

4. GPS Visualizer

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  • Accessible through browser.
  • You can find the coordinates of a single location using GPS Visualizer's Quick Geocoder. Quick Geocoder returns a small map and a formatted table of information.
  • You can also geocode a batch of addresses with GPS Visualizer’s Multiple Address Locator. You can geocode multiple addresses using the geocoding service from Bing Maps, Google, or MapQuest.
  • Data can be in either a raw, jumbled, unformatted list, or in a structured table with a header row.
  • The output data is returned in plain text, but it can be plotted on a map or written to a GPX file.
  • GPS Visualizer is not able to do any reverse geocoding.

5. Location HQ API geocoder

Location HQ has a tiered pricing system. The lowest of the tiers provides geocoding for free. 

  • The geocoder works globally.
  • You can use 10,000 geocoding requests per day.
  • You can use the Location HQ geocoder for street maps only.
  • Due to the parameters of the free service, it is limited for commercial use.

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To start using the TravelTime Search API geocoder, download an API key and start geocoding for free.

 

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