Geocoding is the coded form of any geographical location. Coded form in the context of latitude and longitude of the particular place, which you want to explore. As in the whole world, there are so many locations, to precisely locate any location coordinates of that particular place helps in tracking the location on a geographical map or graph. Geocoding is the process in which we enter text or can say the address in a voice also and then we get the location in the form of address and name of a particular place, and through this process, we can find latitude/longitude of the location on the earth surface. Geocoding process turns an address of any place into a location on a map. As in our phone also when we want to find out the location of any address it displays a position on a map, and trace the address on a digital map. Also, read the Art of Creating and Using Mind Maps: A Detailed How-To.
Geocoding Functionality- Geocoding process works on the GIS software information system. GIS software gathers, manage and analyse the database. It collects many types of data, and analyse it in the factor of size, position and area and arrange the layer of information into visual forms using maps. GIS is the function which we use frequently in our lives for navigating any location which we want to find on google map or any other mapping services. We can access this service from our electronic devices like laptop, desktop or any mobile devices. We can trace places, streets, roads, landmarks, etc. through a symbolic representation on a map. The main components of the geocoding system are a set of reference data about the location and method of its geocoding. We input the specific address or data set which we want to geocode. The data are further classified into comparative information or absolute information. Comparative or relative data about the address aren’t specific enough to geocode. An example might be the “shop across the street”. Geocoding cannot be accomplished with a location not so clear. Through absolute information, input data is converted into coded form and turned into a list of coordinates. Geocoding functions are performed by many geographic information systems or GIS software. Through GIS mapping spatial data is utilized and is helpful in the process of geocoding.
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Reverse Geocoding- As the term implies Geocoding convert particular address to geographical coordinates as (latitude and longitude). Reverse Geocoding converts latitude and longitude into its corresponding street address, or the name of a place and location. Reverse Geocoding is the important system of mobile services to convert a coordinate obtained by GPS(Global Positioning System) to a readable street address which is easier to understand by the end-user.
Benefits Of Geocoding- Since the Geocoding process is done by machines the chances of address being incorrect are substantially reduced. Thus more accuracy and consistency can be achieved in mapping the geocoded location, which is beneficial in businesses to reach any specific customer within the same geographical area. Through geocoding the physical location of the address can be visualized on a map. So that better execution of business strategies can be planned before which is also helpful in analysing the success of the business and make the best way to reach out to the intended customer.
In geocoding, as there are many types of modification done in the networks of the road constantly, but location or address doesn’t change since it points to a fixed location on earth. Thus the resulting information would be more reliable and clear.
With Geocordinates mapping system the address is represented in the form of latitude and longitude, which is equal in all over the world. Hence, there is no barrier of countries, regions and language in this system. Be it any part of the world the address or location mainly depends on two coordinates factor.
Geocoding system is also helpful in the precise management of the risk assessment factor of the location. Regarding natural threats such as earthquakes, floods, storms etc. A geocoder can then make an accurate analysis of the place that requires exact location information. Such analysis helps in the management of data for the insurance company.
Through the geocoding process, frauds can also be prevented. It is quite important for banks and credit card companies that use customer information on the cards. For e.g., if the card is stolen, and the transaction is made from the unusual place it traces the location and enables the company to shut down the card and investigate in the process before any further damage occurs.
System of Geocoding is also helpful in the expansion of business and growth of industries and increasing the network of customers. A geocoder helps in giving the company the information it needs to create the groundwork for new projects. Through Geocoding, the validity of the market can be predicted before actually investing in it.
Tools For Geocoding- There are many types of tools available online for geocoding, Some tools are free and some are paid. For some tools to use, programming is required while some tools have easy to use GUI. While some of the tools cover the area globally while some have limited geographic coverage.
Some of the tools that are used for geocoding services are:-
- Google Maps Geocoding- It is the most popular and common source for navigating location information. Simply the address is to be typed in the address bar and Google maps will give you a desirable result.
- QGIS Geocoding Plugins- It is a plugin that allows users to search for the specific coordinates of an address, or can also locate the address of a coordinate on a map. QGIS offers several geocoding plugins for free.
- HERE Maps Geocoding- It captures location content such as road networks, building, parks and traffic patterns. It has maps of nearly 200 countries. But the geocoded result from HERE Maps cannot be used for private usage unless you purchase its business plans.
- Esri Geocoding (ArcGIS Online World Geocoding Service)- Esri has built a geocoding service that supports multiple responses to an address request. It is a paid service that requires credits to use. Limited amount of address can geocode at a time with a free account of Esri.
- PBBI’S Geocoding (Pitney Bowes)- It is the service which is the best option in the context of accuracy and worldwide coverage. The user can obtain highly accurate latitude and longitude coordinates. It is a globally high precision service.
Geocoding process application is a big achievement of developers in the field of technology. Through this system, an individual can be connected or have information about any location in the geographical reference data.