The geocoder converts geographic input data into coordinates, formatted addresses, and ancillary information about the location requested. That location can either be an address or a point of interest (POI). The specificity of the match depends on the nature and quality of the input data: some queries will return a precise address, while others will yield a street- or postal code-level match. The returned results include an indication of their match level.
There are various ways of querying the geocoder, depending on the parameters and method used: structured parameters vs freetext entry and individual vs batch queries. The differences are explained below:
Structured vs freetext:
- Structured parameters indicate the nature of the address elements of the query. Those values will then only be checked against specific data in the geoindex. There are specific structured parameters to indicate POI queries.
Queries using structured parameters will generally yield more accurate results, and should be used when possible.
- The freetext parameter takes in anything, either address elements or a POI name, and attempts to parse it. Inputs are matched on a best-guess basis against the geo-index. The more that the data in the freetext parameter resembles a structured address or POI name, the better chance it has of being well-matched. The freetext parameter cannot be used with batch queries.
Structured and freetext parameters should not be used together in the same query.
Individual vs batch
- Individual queries are entered via http GET commands. They will return up to 20 responses, ranked in order of best-fit to the entered query.
- Batch queries are submitted as a group of structured queries (up to 100 in a set) in either xml or json format, using an http POST call. Each query will receive only one response. The freetext parameter cannot be used with batch queries.
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