49 :: Google’s Geocoder

The other feature of Google Fusion Tables that I believe is most attractive to users is the app’s ability to take place names and to geocode them into points and shapes.

For example, after exporting 100 largest cities in Canada from Wikipedia:

100cities

After I changed the Census subdivision column from Text to Location…

List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Google Fusion Tables 2014-04-08 09-40-57

Google Fusion tables was able to start the geocoding process:

List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Google Fusion Tables 2014-04-08 09-45-46

That results in a map that’s really good but not perfect. Some points inevitably go astray.

List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Google Fusion Tables 2014-04-08 09-47-52

These can be corrected by editing the location in the table view and choosing Geocode correct and then by trying various searches to bring up the point you are looking for.  For some reason Cambridge Ontario would not come up until I added its sister city.

List of the 100 largest municipalities in Canada by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Google Fusion Tables 2014-04-08 09-49-58

Google’s Geocoding service is lovely and it has an API but but but it has useage limits that probably will require one to pay for the Maps for Business option

Usage Limits

The Google Geocoding API has the following limits in place:

Users of the free API:

  • 2,500 requests per 24 hour period.
Maps for Business customers:
  • 100,000 requests per 24 hour period.

But are there any free alternatives to a geocoding?  Why yes there is. That’s the topic of my next post.

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