iBegin Geocoder: Soft Launch

15 Jun

The first of my previously mentioned three releases, this is a soft launch of our geocoding service: iBegin Geocoder.

Basically enter any address in the US/Canada, and it can convert it to GPS coordinates. Enter any lat/long in the US/Canada, and it can give you the address it translates to, the nearest intersection, and the nearest major intersection.

Any application that works with user locality in US/Canada needs geocoding.

It should be ready by Wednesday for commercial usage and fully complete.

In the mean time – if you find any bugs, drop a comment.

UPDATE: Just wanted to add – the system is likely slow right now as we are working on some internal mechanics on the server. When we launch it will be butter smooth.

UPDATE 2: And our geocoder has launched.

2 Responses to iBegin Geocoder: Soft Launch



June 18th, 2007 at 10:22 am

I’m thrilled that iBegin is going to be doing geocoding. It seems to fit well with the rest of the offerings.

I’m interested in the calculation method for the nearest intersection vs. major intersection. When looking up 24 Sussex, the two have different values but list the same intersection. Looks like a bug.


Geocoding Results
Geocoding for
Latitude: 45.443799
Longitude: -75.693272

Nearest Intersection:
Street 1: Sussex DR
Street 2: MacKay ST
Distance: 16 meters

Nearest Major Intersection:
Street 1: Sussex DR
Street 2: MacKay ST
Distance: 19 meters



June 18th, 2007 at 10:47 am

It is possible that the nearest intersection is also the nearest major intersection.

What the system does (when doing reverse geocoding is) is figure out the closest intersection (in this case Sussex and MacKay). Afterwards it sort of spreads out, going over intersections close by, and assigning a score on how probable it is that this is the nearest major intersection. After it completes the radial search, it lists the intersection with the highest score – in this case, Sussex and MacKay again.

I will say that this isn’t perfect – there is no simple way of knowing if a road is major or not. You can see at my former residence: http://geocoder.ibegin.com/geolive.php?latitude=43.671849&longitude=-79.388433&cross=1&sup=1 – while Google Maps doesn’t have Davenport displayed as a major road, most denizens of Toronto do know where Davenport and Yonge meet.

It is in-exact, and we decided it is better to include it than not to.