Bing Maps API reverse geocoding: less results for countries outside the country where I live RRS feed

  • Question

  • During many years I have collected about 6000 GPS-tracks of my car trips, travels, flights, walks, bicyle trips, boat trips  etc. I built an MS Access database application for them: it contains the track data itself and some metadata about each track. I also use SQL Server with its geography data type to neatly show my tracks in QGIS.

    Using reverse geocoding I would like to give more meaning to the start and end point of the tracks: obviously an address says much more than just the numbers latitude and longitude.

    In the Access application I built a procedure for batch reverse geocoding with the Bing Maps api for the tracks start and end points. The batches run 250 tracks, so 500 points, at a time.

    Now my issue.  

    I note that the resulting info of the batch on positions outside my country (Netherlands) is much less than the info for positions in the Netherlands itself. For instance: entityType, calculationMethod, confidence, locality, geocodePoints(0).coordinates(0) and geocodePoints(0).coordinates(1) are empty. Strange is that if I do a one single point request of a point outside my country the response does have all info.

    What’s happening here? Is it a Microsoft restriction for basic accounts? I did not read about this.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2020 10:23 AM

All replies

  • Hi Swipps,

    There is no restriction but rural points that are likely on hikes don't tend to have addresses. “Reverse geocoding" is the process of back (reverse) coding of a point location (latitude, longitude) to a readable address or place name so the location you are searching may have no name.  You might want to ask specifically for the admin region or something less precise.



    Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:18 PM
  • Thanks. But ...  it's not only the rural hikes that leave many API response fields empty.

    It's the case with all positions outside the country where I live. Also points in cities. It's a very structural phenomenon: all points within the Netherlands have a full response, all points outside have quite a lot of fields left empty.

    It only occurs with batch processing! As said, for a single point request outside my country I get a full response.

    Very strange.

    • Edited by SWPPS Wednesday, August 12, 2020 6:59 AM
    Wednesday, August 12, 2020 6:59 AM
  • Hi SWPPS,

    The Geocoder does take location relevancy into account as it is tuned for "Bing.COM".  You can force the context to change by sending the culture code with the call. ( For example "EN_US" is likely the most exercised Geocoder option and you can see if that changes the results set. 

    More likely though is that the data where you are checking is sparse.  Coverage in rural regions is always a challenge and Microsoft is a partner in the Open Maps initiative (OSM - Open Street Maps - to get some of that coverage created by people local to that region.

    For details of our larger support to map unmapped parts of the globe, you can check out our partnership page with Missing Maps and our Blogs regarding building footprints



    Wednesday, August 12, 2020 4:19 PM