Today we are very proud to announce that our new Geocoding Service has left Beta and has gone live to Production at www.mapquestapi.com/geocoding

This is our third web service we have pushed to Beta, iterated, and then released to production, since we first pushed out the Beta of the Directions Web Service on July 20th. When you consider that we also have the Static Map Service as well as version 6 of the JavaScript and ActionScript SDKs in Beta, I think that is a rather incredible pace we are maintaining!

I'm not much of one for flowery words, so I'll let the product speak for itself.

The MapQuest Platform: Geocoding Web Service allows you to access MapQuest geo-location data directly over HTTP without having to go through a language-specific SDK. Requests can be submitted as Key-Value pairs, JSON, XML and more. Responses do not have to match the request-type; mix-and-match to fit your development needs. Full documentation, forums, and other resources are available on the Developer Network

Features

Address Geocode function
Provide either a single line address, or an address broken down into its component parts (5-line) and receive back potential addresses and lat/lngs, in order of confidence
Here's an example of just how easy it is:
http://www.mapquestapi.com/geocoding/v1/address?key=YOUR_KEY_HERE&location=Lancaster&format=xml
will return a result you can view here
or, if you want to be particularly impressed by how easy it is to use, try out the little geocoding form I built right into the blog post! now THATS COOL!! I've deliberately picked a default town name that returns ambiguities - did you even know there were four towns in Georgia all named Four Points? Why don't you give your town name a try, but without entering the state, just to see how many other towns with the same name exist in the country.

(Results will be displayed below)

Reverse Geocode function
Provide a Latitude and Longitude, and receive back the known address information of that location.
Batch Geocode function
Geocode up to 100 locations at once in a single batch function call. You can also receive the output in a delimited-text file for easy importing into Excel or a database.
Reflected User-provided values
Add your own data into the location object on your request, and receive it back in the response. Great for helping you maintain state in your application, and for keeping your own information about the location packaged together for your application.
ViewPort Biasing
If you provide a Map Bounds as part of your geocode call, ambiguity results within the map bounds will be moved to the top of the results list. So if you have someone already staring at a map, this greatly improves the chance that the place they are looking for is the top result
ccTLD Biasing (Country Code Domains)
If you don't provide a country for the address, the country will default to the domain of the web address making the geocoding request. For example, if you make a request from http://www.myAwesomeSite.co.fr, we will default the country to France unless you tell us differently.
Thumbnail Ambiguity maps
Each ambiguity result can return a static map URL that provides a thumbnail image of the ambiguous location, if you wish to display these to end-users for some context when disambiguating.
Delimited File Output
For any of the geocoding service functions, you can specify outFormat=file and a delimiter=of Comma(,) Pipe(|) Colon(:) or semi-colon(;). The service will then return a delimited text file including a header row. This should be especially useful for the batch geocoding function

Stay Tuned for more updates

More updates to Beta, and more Production roll-outs to come before the end of the year - we're not done yet

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