We wanted the ability to show our clients on a map, for various reasons. The GIS department was never able to produce this and anytime I asked about it, there was discussion about using the zip. I wanted a pin point on the address, so I took it upon myself to figure that out.
I knew that I could easily convert an address to latitude and longitude coordinates on Google Maps so I needed to do this for our client addresses stored in our ERP. After some digging around I found out this was called geocoding. Great. Then hunt for geocoding web services began. I had about 15,000 addresses to do and most of the APIs on the Internet would allow a couple hundred in a day, or 1,000 total. Until I found the MapQuest Goecoding API, which provided a very open service that I allowed 5,000 addresses per day. (more…)