Two decades ago, reading maps could be considered as a skill. Especially so when you are handed a map that provides only the information for the longitude and latitude of a certain location. Only a handful of people is able to read and interpret longitude and latitude coordinates. With the introduction of mapping technologies, developers were able to create a machine translation or “coding” if you will, to translate the address or location on the map into its geographical coordinates. There is also a software that has an API for zipcode lookup features.
This process is known as Geocoding. With the advent of this technology, people who regularly use coordinates such as land surveyors and the military will be able to accurately pinpoint a location found on the map. On the other hand, reverse geocoding will help practically everyone by making it easier to read map coordinates, especially with the help of technology through the reverse geocoding API. To understand what is a reverse geocoding API we have to understand that meaning of these two when taken individually.
What Is Reverse Geolocation?
Reverse geolocation is much like geolocation but in reverse. Specifically, where the location on the map is given in its coordinates form, and it is translated into a publicly known address or a human readable address. Reverse geolocation helps regular people to easily understand the location by translating it to something that everyone is familiar with, and that is the address.
What is an API?
API’s or Application Program Interface are sets of protocols or tools that are used in building a software application. The interaction of software components is directed by the API. These prepared sets of protocols are made with specific functionalities that form part of a whole. The API is more like a gear that is part of a bigger system which is the software application.
What is Reverse Geolocation API?
With the knowledge on the definition of the two, namely reverse geolocation and API, we could, therefore, define Reverse Geolocation API as a set of protocols or tools which are used to translate or convert the coordinates of locations to a human readable form, and that is the address. There are several reverse geolocation API available online, one of the most popularly used is the Google Maps Geocoding API.
This API could be used as geocoding and reverse geocoding API. However, this does not function in determining or converting coordinates to addresses in real-time. Rather, the API relies on static addresses, where static refers to the addresses to having been already incorporated in their database in advance. Thus you run the risk of providing old or obsolete location data. There are however other API’s that provides for real-time location data. However, access to that may require permission because of several privacy issues that must be dealt with.