How To Choose the right Geo-coder for Your Tracking Account
As an advanced vehicle tracking services provider, Lions Auto allows you to choose between several global databases like Google, Open StreetMap, MapBox, ArcGIS, HERE, as well as regional ones, e.g. Yandex, Progorod. But what’s the difference and which is the best option for your business? Let’s first get clear about what a Geo-Coder is and what it does.
What is Geo-coding?
Geo-coding is a service that converts an address (name of a place) to geographical coordinates (direct Geo-coding), and vice versa, the coordinates to the address. It is a task that involves multiple data sets and processes, all of which work together to provide a seamless flow and exchange of geo data between applications.
Geo-coder by itself is a piece of software or a web service that implements a Geo-coding process i.e. a set of interrelated components in the form of operations, algorithms, and data sources that work together to produce a spatial representation for descriptive location-based references. The two important groups of components are the reference database and the Geo-coding algorithm. Each of these components are made up of sub-operations and sub-components.
It is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every Geo-coder in order to make informed business decisions. Geo-coding is used practically everywhere in our vehicle tracking user Interface. Its role is essential in reports construction, task importing, alerts and notifications, creating PoI, etc.
We have establish a default Geo-coder that is automatically applied to every User Account. However, our customers are also able to change the Geo-coder in the Account section in platform Interface.
How do To choose The Right Geo-coding Source
Basically, the most important features of a Geo-coder anyone should pay attention to when choosing the right one for your business are the database and the speed of Geo-coding. For example, Progorod is an excellent tool if you are interested in building reports when your assets are in remote rural areas. Because of its specialization it has a very rich database with lots of coordinates in the specific region but isn’t very useful when working in other regions.
The difference between OSM and Google Geo-coders is pretty obvious – Google is faster and more precise but OSM has a very important advantage of being an open source service and being free to use for any purposes.
It is important to understand that this is a third-party service that we use here at Lions Auto and it is a subset of Geographic Information Services or GIS. GIS services are widely used in all our vehicle tracking applications, providing our customers with additional information, correct data and make working with the platform more efficient.
What else do Geo Information Services include?
Apart from Geo-coding, other additionally important GIS services include:
- Route providing – this service allows you to build a route between two or more points and set up additional information such as the travel mode (on foot, by public transport, by car) and other criteria.
- Geo-location LBS / Cell-ID – allows to determine the approximate location of an object when GPS / GLONASS signals are not available. It uses land-line wireless networks, primarily mobile.
- Traffic – indicates traffic jams, gives an opportunity to assess the possible speed, to correct the time of arrival, etc.
- Street View – opens a panoramic view of streets at selected places on the map, etc.
- Distance Matrix – calculates the distance and travel time between two points, used to evaluate the built route.
Lions Auto’s Premium GIS Services
Basic GIS Package allows you to use Geo-coding, route provider and LBS / cell-ID based on data from open-source and crowd-source, such as OpenStreetMap.
However, our advanced vehicle tracking platform uses premium GIS Packages giving you an access to paid data bases, services and maps. As such, this package includes licensed Google Maps Services: all Google Maps (Google Roadmap, Google satellite, Google hybrid), street view, forward Geo-coding (search location by name, address) and reverse Geo-coding (retrieve postal address or place name by known coordinates), route provider, traffic, distance matrix and other similar services.
It goes without saying that such package helps you to use top-quality GPS-tracking and routing services.