The process of converting addresses into geographical coordinates is used in many areas for a very specific purpose: to obtain latitude and longitude values from a physical or postal address. This operation, defined in technical jargon as “geocoding”, allows you to convert one or more records entered by hand or by file into various formats in a safe and fast way. Once the geographical coordinates have been obtained, it will be possible to carry out further complex operations, such as triangulation on the map to calculate the shortest route between the starting point, the arrival point and the passage point in order to reduce the fuel consumption of a vehicle and optimize the delivery time. Therefore, geocoding opens the doors to new and important business and market opportunities in sectors such as transport, logistics, shipping and more. But how do you get an error-proof conversion of addresses into geographic coordinates? What software do you use and how can you solve geocoding needs for databases containing up to hundreds of thousands of addresses? In this article, we will try to understand how to face a conversion in a workmanlike manner without any special skills and from any device, including mobile devices.
TRANSFORMING ADDRESSES INTO COORDINATES STEP BY STEP
Understanding how the transformation or conversion of addresses into geographic coordinates takes place is essential to recognize the risks and benefits of a software-automated process compared to a manual operation. Indeed, if once it was inevitable to process data with analog systems of dubious precision and scarce practicality, nowadays modern technologies ensure a perfect performance of geocoding at reduced costs and with zero margin of error. Everything is done with the help of validation software that can also manage requests for geocoding, or the conversion of addresses into geographic coordinates. These computer programs work according to a proven and, as we have seen, error-proof procedure. Through a series of steps in rapid sequence, the addresses are checked and reclaimed until the final transformation into geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude). In this regard, we report the most important steps performed after launching a query with Address4 software:
- address check, first of all, the addresses are examined in order to find the right matches, or at least the most likely matches between what is uploaded and what is present in the database. Entering a non-existent phrase or address, for example, will produce an error, while entering a correct (or existing but with errors) address will lead to the next step.
- completion and updating, the address, at this point, is enriched in the missing parts and the obsolete values are updated. The addresses that miss a datum, such as the territorial code or the house number, will be completed in real time by the software with extreme precision and with information verified day by day.
- address conversion and geocoding, the final step is the transformation of the address into geographic coordinates, with coverage that reaches 250 countries around the world. All this in a few seconds in the case of a single request or a few minutes for a file with hundreds or even thousands of addresses.