I'm about to shop around for a geocoding service that can return more details about geocoded addresses. For example, if a result is returned to a building rooftop, can the service tell me that the building is an 8-story apartment complex or a warehouse. If not rooftop level, can I found out if the result is in a residential suburb, or central business district? Can anyone give me a head start as to what's out there that can do the above? I'm interested in US only and international coverage.


  • Any services which offer RDI can tell you if an address is residential or commercial, at least (for example, SmartyStreets, where I work). Doesn't tell you what kind of district but it can tell you if it's a "high-rise" (meaning, has secondary units, like an apartment or office building). – Matt Jul 2 '14 at 0:46
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    Would you be able to edit your question to indicate the geographic extent this geocoding service would need to apply to, please? For example, United States or another country? – PolyGeo Jul 2 '14 at 1:17

The Google Places API might be useful here:

The Google Places API is a service that returns information about Places — defined within this API as establishments, geographic locations, or prominent points of interest — using HTTP requests. Place requests specify locations as latitude/longitude coordinates.

It returns the type of establishment:

types[] contains an array of feature types describing the given result. See the list of supported types for more information

This may not return exactly what you're asking for, but it might be a useful input into deciding the building type.

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