Every point on Earth has a latitude and longitude coordinate, specified by satellites that orbit the planet. Constant streams of data are transmitted to Earth, and this data is received by smartphones and other devices. The position of a device from satellites is measured by trilateration, and allows access to global local information, such as road directions.
Addresses are necessary for humans to interpret geographic coordinates in a way that’s useful — to send mail or locate a destination, for instance.
Companies have a variety of reasons for keeping track of physical addresses. But storing this information according to the unique postal standards of countries around the world may be impractical. Enter geocodes.
Geocodes are a universal standard for identifying a location, anywhere in the world. Using latitudes and longitudes, geocodes have applications for developing third-party apps, enabling site-to-store features within eCommerce experiences, and planning logistics. With so many people relying on smartphones, geolocation tech helps people get to their destination safely, efficiently, and without hassle.
Geocoding also has implications for disaster prep, particularly in regions that may be experiencing weather-related disruptions. Latitude and longitude data can also assist with detecting challenges to public health. In some parts of the world where address systems are not present, geocoding is the only way to identify or describe a location.
Reverse geocoding identiﬁes locations nearest to a latitude and longitude coordinate, enabling increased reliability of the location data. Even when addresses are unavailable, reverse geocoding software can provide corresponding addresses, based on nearby landmarks, for geolocation queries. Reverse geocoding use cases include:
When combining reverse geocoding with other applications, we find many potential uses that span industries like retail, insurance, healthcare, and more.
The reverse geocoding process takes place using an application programming interface (API). User-friendly software will also include a visualization layer.
Behind the scenes, algorithms run and make judgments about the right address to append to a latitude and longitude coordinate. For instance, the closest address to a geocoded location may be a building across the street.
There are several different levels of accuracy that are possible with geocoding and reverse geocoding.
An important step in the reverse geocoding process is to validate addresses.
Address validation, also known as address verification, is a technical process for confirming the accuracy of postal information based on official datasets. Address verification APIs are used to improve data quality, minimize errors, and reduce failed deliveries.
Geocoding and reverse geocoding software is often a counterpart to an address verification solution, which can help ensure that information is accurate.
To provide a seamless end-user experience, the address validation API needs to deliver results in real-time. From the customer’s perspective, this process should be taking place instantaneously and behind the scenes. There should be no delays, glitches, or bugs.
With accurate information in real-time, businesses can improve the efficiency of their customer support, marketing, and logistics operations.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing address verification, geocoding, and reverse geocoding software:
The address validation API, geocoding or reverse geocoding solution should be straightforward to implement, easy to use and able to support the fast pace of global commerce.
Loqate helps businesses around the world verify customer addresses by combining our global datasets with best in class technology. Our easy to integrate API helps our customers verify customer data at the point of capture. Find out more about how Loqate address verification solutions can help your business.