B.C. Physical Address Geocoder Fact Sheet

  • The Geocoder offers free, real-time and batch REST web services for physical address validation, standardization, geocoding, and reverse geocoding of addresses in British Columbia.
  • The Geocoder can be easily integrated into applications and web pages using this auto-completing address finder widget.
  • The Geocoder produces open data. All geocoder response data is licensed under the Open Government License – British Columbia which allows the geocoder to be used by anyone for any legal purpose including commercial, social, civic, and academic.
  • The Geocoder uses open data from a number of local governments and the Federal Government. These sources are supplemented by Provincially owned data including the BC Digital Road Atlas and addresses from BC Assessment.
  • The Geocoder is fast. Average response time of the online geocoder is under 20 ms and the Batch Geocoder can process over one million addresses per hour on a single, commodity computer.
  • The Geocoder is growing in popularity. Over 150 million addresses have been geocoded since its launch in 2013. Over its lifespan, it will save the government millions of dollars in geocoding costs and improve the outcomes of business decisions that rely on accurate address data.
  • The Geocoder is flexible. It can handle civic, landmark, and intersection addresses; multiple locations per address (e.g., rooftop, access point, routing point), structured or unstructured input, and multiple results per input address ranked by match score. When interpolating along address ranges, the geocoder uses a new technique called Adaptive Interpolation to greatly improve location accuracy over simple, linear interpolation.  Adaptive Interpolation uses nearby known address sites to improve the location of an interpolated address.
  • The Geocoder is forgiving. It will heroically try to match an input to an address using spelling correction, partial name matching, locality aliasing, street name aliasing, and unit designator aliasing.
  • The Geocoder is innovative. It is custom software built to meet the unique data challenges and needs of British Columbians.  The Concurrent Processing Framework (CPF) is similarly custom built and drives the Batch Geocoder; it has been released under the Apache 2 license.  Learn more about the CPF here.