Best practices

Service version: 2
Last edit: 2022.10.27

Purpose

The following topics provide some helpful tips to improve your TomTom API query results.

Note: Constants and parameters enclosed in curly brackets { } must be replaced with their values.

Using radius

You can use a radius parameter to restrict the result to a given area around input coordinates. Radius is defined in meters. For instance, this query will return a building result (Point Address type result) only if there is one in a 100 meter radius from the given lat/lon:

https://api.tomtom.com/search/2/reverseGeocode/52.157831,5.223776.json?key={Your_API_Key}&radius=100

If there are no buildings within the given radius, then the street match type result might be returned (if there are streets within the radius from the particular point) - as in the example given above. Depending on the use case (for example: for a delivery use-case) limiting radius might be extremely useful for filtering out unacceptable results. Of course, limiting radius decreases the amount of returned full addresses in general.

For other use-cases (like fleet tracking) a higher radius is usually advised. You may modify the example query by changing the accepted radius to 200m (or more) to see that in this case a full address will be returned (as there is a property 170 meters away from the input coordinates). Remember that a higher radius value means a lower general address precision is accepted. On the other hand, it increases the chance of obtaining a full address (including a house number).

Using different response formats

We also support JSON or XML formatted responses.

Request example with a JSON response format

https://api.tomtom.com/search/2/reverseGeocode/52.157831,5.223776.json?key={Your_API_Key}

Request example with an XML response format

https://api.tomtom.com/search/2/reverseGeocode/52.157831,5.223776.xml?key={Your_API_Key}

Setting a response language

Our service by default returns results using the language and alphabet used in a reverse geocoded location. For example,

  • For input coordinates from Spain, the returned results will be using the Spanish language.
  • For input coordinates from Greece, the results will be using the Greek language, and the Greek alphabet will be preferred.

If you want to restrict results to one specific language you will need to explicitly set it in the request parameters. For example, by setting the language parameter to a value of en, you explicitly request results in the English language (using the Latin alphabet) whenever possible.

Understanding a response

The returnMatchType parameter can be used to get a response type explicitly returned in the response. This might be useful for understanding the quality of the match/returned result.

When this parameter is used then the response will have a matchType response field with one of the following returned values: AddressPoint / HouseNumberRange / Street.

  • The AddressPoint value means that the exact address was found and returned.
  • The HouseNumberRange value means that the address is approximated from the house number range assigned to road-element.
  • The Street value means that returned result doesn't contain the full address data particularly that no building was matched and thus the buildingNumber (and streetNumber) fields will be missing in the response.
    • The Street match-level result means that the result cannot be used as an address. For example, for package or food delivery purposes.
    • It might be an indication of a gap in our data, but it can also be a 100% correct and accurate response, for example, input coordinates lying on the highway.

Understanding a response summary

The following example uses JSON. Note: For your benefit, the code comments are preceded by // and are not part of the actual JSON.

1{
2 "summary": {
3 "queryTime": 9, // query time on the server in milliseconds
4 "numResults": 1 // number of results in this response, always set to 1
5 },
6 "addresses": [
7 // array that always contains one element
8 {
9 "address": {
10 "buildingNumber": "3", // building number on the street, it is the same as streetNumber
11 "streetNumber": "3", // building number on the street, it is the same as buildingNumber
12 "routeNumbers": [], // this attribute returns official route numbers if there are any assigned, like I-80 for Interstate 80
13 "street": "Vuurscheweg", // the street name, it is the same as streetName
14 "streetName": "Vuurscheweg", // the street name, it is the same as street
15 "streetNameAndNumber": "Vuurscheweg 3", // the street name and number concatenated
16 "countryCode": "NL", // ISO 3166-1 alfa-2 country code
17 "countrySubdivision": "Utrecht", // state or Province
18 "municipality": "De Bilt", // a municipality, often a city/town name
19 "postalCode": "3723", // postal code
20 "municipalitySubdivision": "Bilthoven", // smaller organization unit than municipality, here a village
21 "country": "Holandia", // country name
22 "countryCodeISO3": "NLD", // ISO 3166-1 alfa-3 country code
23 "freeformAddress": "Vuurscheweg 3, 3723 MD Bilthoven", // full formated address that can be used for addressing a place; freeformAddress is formed according to appropriate country addressing rules
24 "boundingBox": {
25 // boundingBox enclosing the closest road-element to input cooridnates
26 "northEast": "52.158259,5.223712",
27 "southWest": "52.158148,5.222734",
28 "entity": "position"
29 },
30 "extendedPostalCode": "3723 MD", // extended postal code (available only is some places)
31 "localName": "Bilthoven" // localName, most often is the same value as municipality or municipalitySubdivision, used in freeformAddress
32 },
33 "position": "52.159172,5.223768" // position of a matched result, in the case of a building it’s entry point
34 }
35 ]
36}