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Make Better Business Insights with Geocode.xyz – Interview with Ervin Ruci

Roberto Popolizio
As online sales soar worldwide, current delivery infrastructures must be able to cope with the needs of this booming industry.

Geocoding solutions, as made accessible through APIs, are helping online businesses optimize their services to an extent that was previously impossible, and with improving accuracy and new trends such as augmented reality (AR), geocoding will be one of these innovations that will just grow in importance.

In this interview with Ervin Ruci, Founder and CEO of Geocode.xyz, we will better understand what geocoding is, why it’s important to any online business, and what role it will play in the future.

Please introduce Geocode.xyz to our audience. What’s your story and how has it evolved so far?

I started Geocode.xyz while on vacation in Spain, August 2016. It was a new iteration of a problem I’ve been thinking about since graduate school : “given a description of any location, compute its geographical coordinates, and vice versa.” It is a problem that as of today is still not fully solved.

What does a geocoder do exactly?

It takes a textual description of a location, for eg: “Avenue FR DE LA JOSNIERE 13 LE DORAT” and returns a formatted version of the address and its geo-coordinated, in this case: “France x,y z: 46.21766,1.07657 231 m 🇫🇷13 AVENUE DE LA JOSNIERE, Le Dorat, France 87210 Confidence Score: 0.9”

Similarly it takes the latitude,longitude of any location on earth and returns its address components, nearby points of interest, etc.

Furthermore the geocode.xyz api can extract location information from bodies of text to answer questions such as this one: “Given a book, list all locations mentioned on a map”

Can you give us an overview of how you have built your online platform?

One line of code at a time, since the launch, the oldest item in this blog https://geocode.xyz/blog:

“ Launch! & 2016 Perl Advent Calendar
We have officially launched! Our 2016 Perl Advent Calendar article is at perladvent.org/2016/2016-12-16.html“

And to this day where various tweaks and new features are added to the 100k+ perl codebase.

Besides that, we use PayPal as payment processor, Cloudfare, and Leaflet, a JavaScript library that helps create interactive maps for both desktop and mobile browsers.

How can online businesses benefit from geocoding?

A lot of them can, by cleaning up and standardizing the address information present in their databases for making better business decisions.

I’ll give you three more ways eCommerce sites benefit from geocoding:

  1. Knowing where you are reduces the amount of time spent searching for directions
  2. Geolocation services allow businesses to identify customer locations within specific regions, which enables them to target advertising campaigns towards those geographic zones.
  3. Population density maps show us exactly how densely populated cities are across the globe. This information helps you decide what types of services are needed within each community.

In your opinion, what trends are going to be key in the next few years in your industry?

No idea about marketing, cause I am completely uninterested in the subject, but I can see Google maps is going the way of Google Search. I looked up directions from orikum to rinas and I first got a page full of ads that’s tricky to take off. Then 2/3 of the page is hotel ads.

But for sure reverse geocoding will become more essential in the future to companies like Amazon, who will be able to deliver your goods to your address without even having you type it. Also food Delivery Apps, Taxi Services to Event Hosting Solutions, Government Portals and Emergency Services find Geocoding To Be A Key Asset, and its importance is only set to increase over the coming years.

Lastly, any exciting news or developments that you would like to share about Geocode.xyz?

We are now serving over 1 billion geocoding requests per month from thousands of customers and free users alike. We’ve also spun off our geo data collection business as poidata.xyz

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