Geocoding is the process of converting an address into coordinates to be displayed on a map. It is also possible to reverse geocode by converting coordinates from a map into an address.
There are many factors that can affect the accuracy of a location, such as human error, changes to road networks or the complexity of a large site. Geocoding uses latitudes and longitudes, which leave no room for interpretation. Coordinates are precise and so reduce the margin for error when pinpointing a location.
The world around us is constantly evolving and changing. Transport networks can be adapted and buildings knocked down and rebuilt. Geocoding takes account of these changes by using coordinates. These latitude and longitude coordinates relate to a fixed point on the earth’s surface, and so are always consistent.
Our systems for calculating distance can change depending on the country we are in and the language we speak. Geocoding is not affected by this as latitude and longitude coordinates are common to all. Geocoding is a universal language.
Geocoding is commonly used on websites that need to allow visitors to interact with a map. The users might be searching for a point of interest, or for a particular route to a specific destination. Geocoding allows the user to enter a starting point and destination and convert these into coordinates to be viewed on a map. Routing application can then show directions from one location to the other
Geocoding allows you visualise data on a map, which can help you to make decisions about where to target your marketing campaign. For example, viewing your customer’s addresses on a map could make you aware of areas that you are missing. You could then target a leaflet drop to that particular area to attract new customers.
A geocoder provides exact locations, which can help in the analysis and management of risks. Risk management personnel might be tasked with analysing and predicting the weather risk to a particular location, such as the risk of a hurricane or earthquake. Geocoding provides the information for accurate analysis.
Banks use geocoding to help prevent fraud. The bank can use a geocoder to track where purchases are being made from. Most customers have particular spending habits and make purchases in and around the same locations. If there was a purchase that broke from this pattern and was made far away from the customer’s home, the bank can flag this account for further analysis and detect fraudulent activity.
To start using the TravelTime geocoder get an API key. View the documentation here to learn more about the geocoding service. To learn more about geocoding and to discuss your bespoke project, get in touch.