For the batch geocode flow, how should Culture be used? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm seeing issues geocoding international addresses.  Specifically, I am submitting (in English) an address in Beijing, China.  The street address is not found.  I would expect it to then go up hierarchy and have a result of just Beijing, China.  Instead, the result for this address has a StatusCode of BadRequest and a FailureReason of "Data error or geocoding result not found for the request".

    I saw another thread ( that recommends using a different culture code for international addresses.  I tried the same request using a culture of "zh-CN" instead of "en-US".   When doing this, it still didn't match the street (as expected) but it was willing to go up hierarchy and return Beijing China's lat/long.

    This raises a couple issues

    1) If my culture (and the culture of my input data) is US English, should it not be willing to go up-hierarchy if the address is in China?

    2) If I specify a zh-CN culture, it does go uphierarchy but the resulting address is returned using Chinese characters.  This isn't desirable as my application's culture is US but referencing a Chinese address.  Also, if the culture is zh-CN can it handle the input address line being English characters?

    3) If I am geocoding international addresses from a number of countries, what is the recommended way to identify the culture to be used based on the country?

    Thursday, March 30, 2017 5:27 PM


  • A few things to know:

    • China is a very special case as there is a ton for regulations around mapping Chinese mapping data.
    • zh-CN will geocode Chinese addresses only through the REST services, not the batch geocoding services.
    • All detailed Chinese map data is completely separated from the rest of Bing Maps data hosted inside of China due to regulations.
    • There are also a lot of regulations around where and how detailed Chinese address data can be accessed.

    In regards to your questions:

    1. Because of the data separation, when your culture is en-US, a Chinese street address is not recognized as there is simply no detailed Chinese data available in any culture code other than zh-CN. It's can't go up hierarchy as a result of this.
    2. The detailed Chinese data is only available in Chinese. Note pretty much all address level data globally is only available in the language of that region. This make sense since street names posted on signs will only be in the local language and not translated languages. Also a lot of street names are unique to specific languages and have no translations. zh-CN it does handle English input.
    3. If targeting any country other than China, you can often get away without passing a culture code and the platform will do a decent job geocoding it. If your address data is separated into address parts and you can clearly access the Country information, you could create a lookup list and specify the relevant culture code. However, the Bing Maps geocoder does something similar for all by China.

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    Friday, March 31, 2017 3:18 AM