I have a Rails 4 app that needs to be able to geocode a large number of places very quickly, but not with any high degree of accuracy. Accurate to a few miles would be fine, I really just need the lat/lon of the nearest city.

Some solutions I have thought of would be to download my own database and use some sort of levenshtein distance function to pull the correct record by city/country, but ideally there would be some kind of API that geocodes innacurately, but quickly and cheaply.

I need to be able to run possibly hundreds of thousands-millions of queries a day, with sub 2ms type speed.

A "place" in my data set is user-inputed. Most likely a city/country or city/state. e.g. "Santa Barbara, CA" or "Ontario, Canada"

  • you will need your database for this under 2m/s x1 millions will be costly (google limits by ip 1500 per day). – Mapperz Nov 7 '13 at 18:02
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    You say you want to geocode a large number of "places". What exactly is a "place" in your dataset? Can you describe the input data (is the input a city name, an address, zip code) and/or provide an example? – RyanDalton Nov 7 '13 at 18:14
  • I've Edited to answer your question. – OneChillDude Nov 7 '13 at 22:57
  • geocoder.ca has a free list of US & Canada cities and Zipcodes, if you want to query your own database. – klewis Nov 8 '13 at 0:26
  • why do you have to use ruby – boulder_ruby Apr 10 '14 at 5:38

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