Tutorial: Address Suggestor using Google’s Places API & Service Objects’ Address Validation API
Accurate address autocomplete
At Service Objects, our mission is to ensure contact data is ‘genuine, accurate and up-to-date.’ This can be challenging when it comes to our clients wanting to use an address suggestion or address autocomplete tool while ensuring accuracy and deliverability.
What is address autocomplete?
Address autocomplete is a real-time web service that suggests addresses while a user is still typing it out. The majority of them are built using Google’s Place Autocomplete, which Google defines as:
“a web service that returns address predictions in response to an HTTP request. The request specifies a textual search string and optional geographic bounds. The service can be used to provide autocomplete functionality for text-based geographic searches, by returning places such as businesses, addresses and points of interest as a user types.”
It sounds great on the surface but when you dig a little deeper, a few problems are uncovered:
- Google Places API often does not suggest locations at the apartment or suite level.
- The locations the Google Places API suggests are often not mail deliverable. For instance, a business may have a physical location at one address and receive mail at a completely different address.
- When Google is not sure of a location or address, it will make approximations as to where an address should be.
If your business mails or ships, these issues are going to create poor customer experiences and potentially generate expensive customer service issues. So, how can you can you enjoy the benefits of an address autocomplete tool while maintaining a high rate of accuracy and deliverability?
Address suggestion + validation = The super suggestor!
This is where Service Objects comes in. By combining the power of our Address Validation tools (US, Canada, and International) web services with Google’s Place Autocomplete API, we can identify if an address is complete, accurate and deliverable. Furthermore, where addresses are incomplete or not deliverable, they can be corrected in real-time by our address validation services. In fun, we call this the Super Suggestor (insert favorite superhero theme music here), providing the best of both worlds, time-saving, customer-friendly address suggestion with the confidence that the address selected is validated, accurate and deliverable.
So how do you combine these two APIs? Watch the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to create your own Super Suggestor.
We have also provided the complete transcript here.