Updates to the Google Maps Geocoding Web Service

Google have released a new version of their geocoding web service, details here.

Geocoding is the process of translating an address to an approximate location in terms of latitude and longitude (approximate is misleading, it can be very accurate). Reverse geocoding is the process of taking latitude and longitude coordinates and translating that to an address.

Updates in the service include:

  • Support for the changes to v3 of the JavaScript API
  • Requests no longer require a Maps API key
  • Google Maps Premier customers must sign their requests
  • V2 of the web service is now deprecated – can still be used and is still supported

The geocoding service is able to be called from the client APIs (JavaScript) or there is a web service that can be called from server side components (or anything that can call a web service). The web service supports both XML and JSON output. For example, you might have a CRM system that captures address details. Why not call out to this web service as needed and determine the latitude and longitude values and then store them with the record?

A word of warning, if you do use this service to geocode addresses, you can only use those geocoded values with the Google Maps API – you can’t use it with other services such as Bing Maps.

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