Update of the Google Maps API geocoder

Monday, May 14, 2007 at 2:29:00 PM

We have just upgraded the software used to handle North American addresses in our Geocoding API. This upgrade improves the performance of our service and includes the following changes which may affect your applications:

1. The new geocoder contains an update to the underlying data set for North America. Therefore, you may see some changes in results. This is primarily an update containing newer street names and corrections to data. Typically, this means that you may see results for newer locations where none were returned before. In some cases, such as where streets have been renamed, locations may not be available for queries that previously returned results.

2. The geocoder has also been updated so that it more intelligently handles incomplete input. The previous geocoder would simply fail if it did not find a near-exact match of an address. The new geocoder attempts to match an incomplete address to a known address, which tends to be more user friendly. However, along with this enhancement you should be aware that the new geocoder can sometimes return unexpected results as it tries to match a partial address to a full entry in the address database.

3. In the XML data returned from the geocoder, there is a tag called "AdministrativeAreaName" that may contain the state where the address is located. Currently, this is the abbreviated state name (ie. "CA"). However, there are cases when the new geocoder may use the full state name (ie. "California"). If your application depends on the abbreviated state name, such as for filtering results, you will need to make modifications so that it can handle full state names as well.

For more information on the geocoder, take a look at our examples and reference documentation.