File Under: APIs, Location

Google Gets a New Geocoder

localmap

Google has announced a new geocoding web service app authors can use to better plot locations on a map.

The new Google Geocoding Web Service includes some enhanced capabilities that not only make it possible for app developers to provide more accurate and granular locations in their apps, but it also lets them increase the performance of their apps through precaching.

First off, the new service employs the Google Maps JavaScript API version 3, which has a handful of improvements over the previous versions. Users will get more well-formed and easier to parse data from each request. The service can return full names as well as local-language abbreviations for countries, states and territories. Users also have the ability to apply multiple tags to each address component.

Second, the new service lets apps precache data. From the announcement on the Geo Developers blog:

The Geocoding Web Service is intended to enable precaching of geocoder results that you know your application will need in future. For example, if your application displays property listings, you can geocode the address of each property, cache the results on your server, and serve these locations to your API application. This ensures that your application does not need to geocode the address of a property every time it is viewed by a user. However we do ask that you regularly refresh your cache of geocoder results.

It’s important to note that the new service must be used in conjunction with a Google Map, generated either by the Google Maps API or the Google Earth API.