On-premise vs. the cloud is a constant debate when it comes to software purchases. Geocoding software is no different. How your geocoding solution is deployed can greatly impact both the performance and the cost.
In our ebook, 8 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Geocoding API, we talk about the pros and cons of on-premise and cloud-based geocoding options, as well as other key features to consider.
In this article, we’ll summarize why on-premise versus cloud-based matters, and touch on another deciding factor for your API purchase: third-party basemaps.
On-premise geocoding is geocoding without calling cloud-based web services on the internet. Everything takes place on your servers, behind your firewall.
Cloud-based geocoding is geocoding through a web-based software service, commonly known as “software as a service” or SaaS.
Your organization’s needs, privacy rules, and technical knowledge will all factor into your decision of on-premise versus cloud-based. Once you’ve chosen your deployment method, you can narrow down your list of potential providers and start to consider other features, like compatibility with third-party basemaps.
Geocoding allows you to transform your information databases into easy-to-understand visual maps. Displaying complex data on a map can be an effective and compelling way to present your company’s data, whether that information is where the highest concentration of your target customer resides, your factory locations, floodplains or high fire risk areas, or other subjects.
However, even if your provider allows you to store geocodes (not all do!), that doesn’t mean the terms of service also allow you to display them on third-party maps.
If you’re allowed to store geocodes, you should also ask if the provider allows you to display their geocodes on another mapping or GIS platform such as ArcGIS, QGIS, BatchGeo, or OpenStreetMaps.
The most well-known map provider, Google, does not allow use with third-party mapping platforms. If you’re going to display a geocode from Google on a map, you must display them on a Google Map—end of story!
However, other geocoding providers like Esri and Smarty do play nice with third-party mapping platforms. This opens up a world of possibilities for you.
For example, a Smarty client, the American Red Cross, uploaded addresses in bulk for verification and then used the latitude/longitude information to geocode and create accurate maps of home fire risk and predictive models based on the maps.
To learn more about on-premise versus cloud, third-party basemaps, and other factors in choosing a geocoding provider, download the full ebook, “8 Questions to Ask When Selecting A Geocoding API” today!