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InfoQ Homepage News Google Address Validation API Is Generally Available to Improve Address Accuracy

Google Address Validation API Is Generally Available to Improve Address Accuracy

Google recently announced the general availability of the Address Validation API. The new feature of the Google Maps Platform validates an address, standardizes it for mailing, and determines the best-known geocode location for it.

Address Validation helps developers detect inaccurate addresses by identifying missing or unconfirmed address components. It performs address parsing, standardization, and validation, verifying address existence and ensuring addresses are more accurate.

The new API flags incomplete inputs, and formats them for delivery and helping, for example, mail and products reach the delivery destination.


Nicholas DeMeuse, product strategy lead at Google Cloud, writes:

Address Validation also returns valuable metadata about the processed address, such as individual address components with an accuracy confirmation level, as well as Plus Code, geocode, and Place ID for the address. In certain geographies, Address Validation can also differentiate a residential address from a commercial address, which is important when it comes to delivering packages during business hours.

According to Google, the new service improves user experiences at account sign-up or checkout and reduces the impact of invalid addresses on operations. Among the recommended use cases, the cloud provider includes financial services companies authenticating new account holders and transportation companies assessing address deliverability.

Google released a High Volume Address Validation Python library and documents best practices for the Address Validation API and Places API. While the existing Geocoding API identifies a real-world location based on a given input and converts addresses to geographic coordinates, Address Validation confirms the address components, allowing developers to provide feedback to end users.

A demo is available to test the functionalities and displays the response from the ValidateAddress method as visualized content and as a JSON object. For example, testing the unformatted address of the upcoming QCon London conference:


The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE, UK

The API returns an unconfirmed but plausible Premise for the event:

"addressComponents": [
	"componentName": {
   	"text": "The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre",
   	"languageCode": "en"
	"componentType": "premise",
	"confirmationLevel": "UNCONFIRMED_BUT_PLAUSIBLE"

Google Maps is not the only platform offering an address validation API: for locations in the United States, the USPS APIs and the UPS Address Validation are options provided by the United States Postal Service and the United Parcel Service. Smarty, a company offering address validation tools, published an article claiming that Google provides inconsistent parsing and limited country coverage.

Currently, the Address Validation API supports 27 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. The ability to discriminate between residential and commercial addresses is available in six countries: Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States.

Google charges $17 USD for thousand monthly address validation requests, a price significantly higher than the existing Geocoding API. The Google Maps Platform offers a monthly free tier of $200 USD.

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