What Are Some Popular Lat/Long Providers?

The "Fast Lane" Answer

If you need latitude/longitude coordinates that are associated with a physical address, what you're looking for is a geocode. If you're looking for someone who can generate a geocode from an address you give them, you're looking for a geocode provider. And if you're looking for someone who knows a lot about where things are, Google is probably the first name that comes to mind.

That doesn't necessarily mean they're the best, though. At least, it doesn't guarantee they are the best for you.

What's important for you to know is that you have options. We, SmartyStreets, are one of those options, but that doesn't automatically make us more suited to your needs than Google. Whether any provider is the "best" really depends on your needs. So here's a shortlist of some popular names in geocoding, followed by some more wordy explanations of why they might be a good fit for you.

Popular providers include the following:

A quick breakdown of the things we look at:

P.S.—If you're looking for a more, shall we say, long-winded rejoinder on a question very similar to this, you can take the long walk off that not-so-short pier here.

The "Scenic Route" Answer

Now, on to the providers.

Google

Google's a pretty big fish to fry. They're a big company with a big name, big clientele, and a big list of features they support. Are they right for you? They might be. Let's look at some highlights:

OpenCage

Loqate

Geocodio

TAMU

SmartyStreets

Conclusion

As mentioned above, this list isn't really meant to be exhaustive, either in the providers listed or in the attributes examined. Really, there's no substitute for doing a little door-knocking and finding out what each provider has to offer yourself. Still, we hope we were able to give you head start.

For a more in-depth (as in, "Seriously, get comfortable before settling in to read this one") look at some of these factors—and specifically how they apply to the APIs offered by these companies—we've got you covered. If you found this article at all helpful, you will likely find the information over there valuable as well.

Again, though, be warned. Hit the bathroom before you start that road trip.

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