I spoke to Dan Adams, TomTom's vice president of the company's Location and Live Service group about today's announcement for their new global geocoder. He told me that the new web service had been talked about since the company was known as Geographic Data Technology (GDT). Today, however, with improved bandwidth and a better understanding why geocoding is so important for businesses, the service is a much more viable than it might have been in the past.
TomTom's clients had wanted to license the technology but their requests morphed into something where they wanted the service on a real-time basis. Adams said that clients wanted a high volume, high transactional service and that, in general, a higher availability option.
The new service allows users to establish an account, upload a file, and then the file is geocoded on TomTom servers with the results downloaded at a later time. Fifty-two countries are covered now; seventeen countries have point addresses for better accuracy.
Pricing for the service is tiered and based on volume and accuracy. TomTom only charges for records that match. There are restrictions on the size of the file and record length, but Adams commented that the intent is to make it easy to use with a full set of management capabilities will be continually built out over time.
"We're excited about the fact in offering something on a global basis that TomTom has been very good at in the past and expand that globally. This product is really for people that understand geocoding; data hygiene; and data accuracy … it's a product for the power users but [also] to allow more people to access the power eventually, " said Adams.