Hi everyone,

We’ve gone live with a new feature for the geocoding API. If using our API for forward (ie address to coordinates) geocoding, you can now set the optional parameter proximity to pass us a location (in the form of decimal lat,lon coordinates) that we use to bias results in favour of those closer to that location.

This feature can be useful in a few scenarios. For example

  • You are making the request from a mobile device and want to favour results close to the location of the device. In this case you would set proximity to be the location of the device.

  • You are displaying a map to a user and want to favour results in the mapview. In this case you would set proximity to be the centre-point of the map.

  • You know your queries to be from a certain part of the world and want to try favour duplicates from that part of the world. This is a big problem in countries that use global languages like English and Spanish; many, many places share the same name.

No doubt you will come up with other use cases (as an aside I am continually amazed by all the different ways people use - and occasionally abuse - a geocoding API).

Two final points to note. First up, This new parameter does NOT mean “rank all results by closeness to this point”. The proximity to the supplied point is just one of many inputs that go into the ranking algorithm. It influences the ranking, but if all you want is to rank by distance you should do that on the requesting/client side. Secondly, please be aware of, and make use of, the optional parameters countrycode and bounds which you can also make use of to limit results to certain areas.

We hope this new feature helps you correctly geocode. Learn more about the various optional parameters you can send our API.

Happy geocoding,


written from near 41.40, 2.12