Geopointe

Data Quality and Geocoding

Data quality is extremely important to Geopointe. A high quality address is the only way to get excellent geocoding results. Why? The process goes something like this:

  1. An address is entered into Salesforce, broken into five separate fields: Street, City, State, Postal Code, and Country.

  2. The address is passed from Salesforce into the geocoder. The geocoder expects to receive your data broken down as specified above.

  3. The geocoder parses the information and determines if it can find a match. If it does, you’ll see a return very similar to what you entered. If it can’t find an exact match, it will do its best with the information given.

When the geocoder can’t find an exact match, it’s a black box to us, and it has no human help to pull the strings. Also, don’t assume that because Google Maps can find it, the geocoder will also find it.

Please also note that while Google has amazing coverage worldwide, it's not perfect. Our data is only as good as Google's is.

Here are some guidelines to ensure the best return possible. Some come from Google, some from customer experiences.

Use the right fields - Don’t put the county in the postal code field. Don’t put everything in the street field. Don’t put gibberish or notes in the country field. You’re feeding incorrect data into the geocoder when you do and it won’t understand how to correct it.

BAD
GOOD


Business Names - A guaranteed way to confuse the geocoder and return bad results is to include the business name in the address. Don’t do it.

BAD
GOOD
Tiffany & Co.
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
US
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
US


Building Names - This one is especially important for countries that use building names for addresses, like the UK or Ireland. Whenever possible, favor the street number over the building name. We understand this is sometimes unavoidable, but when you can, avoid it.

BAD
GOOD
Wilkinson House
45 Cherry Blossom Drive
London NE5 9FS
UK
45 Cherry Blossom Drive
London NE5 9FS
UK


Spellcheck - Chicgo may not end up in Chicago. Missississippi may not end up in Mississippi. Englnad may not end up in England. Don’t expect the service to spellcheck for you. Also refrain from name abbreviations (like SF for San Francisco). Double check that correct characters were used; a lowercase l looks a lot like an uppercase I, as does a O and a 0.

BAD
GOOD
4 Yawkey Way
Bstn, Massachewsets 02215
US
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
US
335 PoweII St
San Francisco, CA 941
O2
335 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94102


Filling in fields unnecessarily - text like INCOMPLETE or question marks or hypens to demonstrate that part of the address is unknown weakens the interpretation. A geocode that may have been on the correct block could potentially get thrown way off course.

BAD
GOOD


Apartments, suites, and floors - This one is tricky. Google says to not send them across if it’s avoidable. However, Salesforce doesn’t make it easy to store them somewhere else. Best rule of thumb: make sure they are officially part of the address and keep the notation as simple as possible (Example: #3 vs Apartment Number 3).

Hints or landmarks - descriptors like “third house from the blue barn” may be useful for someone driving to a rural property, but the geocoder won’t be able to parse it.

C/O, ATTN or other mailing notes - the street address is not the place to store mailing information other than the address. It confuses the geocoder and degrades geocode quality. The smarter approach would be to store it in a custom field directly above the address.

Follow your post office - When you’re confused or just not sure, most postal services publish their preferred format for addresses. Locate the format guidelines on the country’s postal service website. The Google geocoder tries to follow these guidelines as much as possible.

If you have problems or struggle with getting good geocode readings, you can always reach out to our support team. We’re happy to help, to troubleshoot, and do what we can to improve your geocode readings.