Initiate the Geocoding Sequence

Geocoding is the fascinating process of associating an address or place name with geographic coordinates. Traditionally, Geocoding was solely the realm of specialists, requiring a specific set of skills and equipment. However, with the advent of modern technology, including Web 2.0 applications, Geocoding is now easier than ever for the everyday user. However, despite the multitude of Geocoding services, such as Google and MapQuest, each service uses different algorithms, databases, etc. to code their locations. Therefore, users might not be aware of which services offer the best quality results, or on the contrary, may offer innacurate results. The quality of Geocoding results may in turn affect subsequent decisions, modeling, analysis, etc.

Overall, one of the biggest problems facing Geocoding is the accuracy of the results. In particular, one problem mentioned by the authors was the poor accuracy of addresses located in rural, agricultural, and urban areas. On the other hand, most urban locations tended to be geocoded similarly across platforms. In addition, it was also interesting to note that several platforms consistently offered more accurate results: Yahoo!, MapPoint, and Google. It would be fascinating to investigate what type of geocoding algorythms, databases, etc. these services use, and if they are similar or relatively different.

Another fascinating trend to consider is the future of direction of Geocoding. One possibility could be the standardization of geocoding databases, algorithms etc. On the other hand, this in turn may lead to redundancies in geocoding services, which might not be a realistic outcome. Overall, the future of Geocoding as a useful tool is heavily dependent on how useful and accurate the results can be.

-Victor Manuel


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