Geocoding is usually considered an integral service at the base of many WebGIS applications. It is usually consumed as a simple REST call to one of the large providers like Google or Bing. However, there are two drawbacks to those services:
- They are only free for non-commercial and limited use
- The user is restricted to the data used by the service providers
Another approach are open data (mostly OSM) based geocoders, with Nominatim as the most prominent example. This however does not allow for performant address auto completion or the integration of private address data.
The open source geocoder Photon tries to eliminate these restrictions and allows to host your own geocoding solution based on OSM data and Elasticsearch as the search engine.
I am an active contributer to this project and provide some of the data pipelines and consolidation processes in order to allow seemless integration of OSM data other open data and proprietary data sources.
Categories: Web/GIS Development
Start: Jan, 2016