International Geocoding – the challenges of multinational CRM

Geopointe brings not just domestic addresses to life on a map, but also international, with a growing worldwide customer base. We have users throughout Europe, South America, and even parts of Asia.

Accurately geocoding addresses is an essential part of Geopointe’s global reach. Addresses vary country to country, making geocoding a challenge. The Geopointe team faces the challenge head-on, striving to increase the accuracy and reliability of our Geocoding results.

The Challenge of International Geocoding

  • We’re all different – While this may seem basic, it’s extremely important when it comes to addresses. Just compare US addresses to the UK, Spain, Russia, or Chile. There is very little uniformity in address fields and formats. Some countries write the street name first; others start with the building number. Rural areas may not have a defined address, but rather use a descriptive distinction (a crossroads or an estate name, for example). These minute details are important to the structure of the address, and how the geocoder interprets it.

  • Geocoding is a multi-party affair Many of Geopointe’s data components, including Geocoding, are sourced from 3rd party providers. Our partner provides great geocoding coverage and cost-effective throughput, but we cannot directly control their data and processes. This means we are not completely in control over how an address is handled.
  • We’re always learning – Geocoding is constantly evolving, and our customers are our teachers. Any time a user reports an issue with Geocoding, it allows us to better understand how to Geocode addresses in a given region; all Geopointe users benefit from the resulting improvements. The more we learn, the more we can implement and pass to our provider.

Our Approach

Our goal is to ensure that you have the most accurate data possible. We have invested hundreds of hours into testing, correcting and optimizing how Geopointe interacts with the geocoder to ensure you see the best results. We send what is called a 5-box request, meaning that each part of the address (street address, postcode, state, etc) is analyzed independently by the Geocoder. This approach ensures that if a portion of the address cannot be understood by the geocoder, the entire address quality is not compromised.

In addition, we are your advocate and resident expert in all things Geospatial. We understand the challenges you experience during the Geocoding process, and we have resources and specialized knowledge to help you.

Recent Improvements

We are constantly working towards better results. Over the past six months, we have engaged with our Geocoding provider to strengthen areas of weak Geocoding performance. Utilizing feedback from our customers, we worked with our provider to overcome challenges some Geopointe users have reported. More recently, we optimized the Geocoder to ignore characters it may not understand, such as ; or /. We’ve also analyzed the different methods of input from Salesforce to ensure the geocoder is returning the best possible result.

Geocoding is always top of mind for us, with extensive, ongoing behind the scenes research and improvements. The end goal is always to improve your experience with Geopointe.

Do you have questions about your data and want us to analyze how the Geocoder is working for your company? Never hesitate to send us a support case. We’re happy to help!