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  1. Is there a United States census API that renders coordinates for a given address?
  2. Is it possible to use the United States census API for commercial purposes?
  3. Do you have a guide on embedding the census API into a website?
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which country's census api are you using? – iant Feb 10 '12 at 12:21
Please expand your question to country and what you want in more detail please. So we can help you more. – Mapperz Feb 10 '12 at 15:07

I don't believe so... but you could use the free Tiger census road data and create a geocoding service with that data. I'm most familiar with doing this type of service using Esri ArcGIS software by making a locator. If you only have a limited number of addresses a day to geocode, there are many websites available to send single addresses and get an xy... Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc.

Esri's free service and essentially unlimited for single address requests...

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The service as you state is not 'free'; but has certain allowances for non-commercial uses; otherwise you do need to be appropriately licensed. – D.E.Wright Feb 28 '12 at 19:52
  1. The US Census bureau doesn't have an API, at least not one that is publicly available.
  2. You can certainly use the census bureau data for commercial purposes. The data was paid for with taxpayer dollars an, as such, is made publicly available to do with it what you like.
  3. Again, since there isn't a census API, you won't find a guide to implement it into a website.

With that said, there is still hope. The census has a myriad of public shapefiles that are available. These contain lat/lon coordinates based on start and end of streets and the data is very useful in geocoding. In fact, that's where most service providers get their geo data since the alternative is VERY expensive. These services take the TIGER data from the census data and match it up with address verification data in order to give you an actual geocode data (or set of lat/lon coordinates) for deliverable address within the United States. I work for one of these companies called SmartyStreets.

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