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Mapping Faux Pas #2: Street-Level Geocoding

November 4, 2011
By: Jason Holte

This week we’re covering Mapping Faux Pas #2: Bad Geocoding. We all know, real estate is all about three things: location, location, location, and nothing is more important to location than a precise geocode. Geocoding has always been a critical aspect of Real Estate web maps but now, with the rise of aerial imagery map layers, it is more critical than ever to get a proper geocode location.

Location Technology Delivers Accurate Geocodes

Before the widespread use of aerial imagery, a street-level geocode was good enough (sometimes…well, we never really liked it but it was enough for some!). Previously, maps were used to give you an idea of the general area and a street-level geocode was adequate because there was little additional context as to where the true location should be. That all changed as soon as aerial imagery was added to the mix. Having aerial images provided greater context, and consumers started to ask “well, which house is it?” With aerial maps, they have the ability to actually see the houses, what they look like, what the neighbor’s houses look like, what’s in the backyards and the general health of the neighborhood. Suddenly, consumers have a burning desire to know whether the house for sale is the charming Cape Cod with the big backyard or the run-down fixer that backs to a busy road.

Street Level Geocode Parcel Level Geocode
Example of Street Level Geocoding Example of Parcel Level Geocoding

Parcel Maps Make People Happy

Naturally, the consumer has come to love aerial maps and with that love, is demanding proper geocoding to pinpoint the properties of interest to them. Providing this parcel level accuracy is key to keeping consumers on your site. It’s difficult enough to keep them engaged, so don’t give them a reason to leave with poor geocoding.

Parcel or Rooftop geocoding is now the standard for property websites and you must rise to that level to play in this competitive market.

A few tips about getting an accurate geocode:

  • Invest in products that deliver accurate geocodes
  • Use multiple sources/services if necessary to get that all-critical property location
  • If you have an agent workforce entering listings have them place an accurate geocode in the best location
  • If you can’t get a rooftop or parcel level geocode, then present the roadmap to the end user first

Keep this Faux Pas in mind because although the idea is simple enough we find that many sites have not given this critical piece of information enough attention.

Click here to check out Mapping Faux Pas #3!

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