What is Geocoding?
Geocoding is the process of converting an address or parts of an address or postal code to a set of geographic coordinates, usually shown as a Latitude / Longitude pair. These coordinates can then be used for a variety of purposes but most commonly to drop pins or markers onto a map such as Google Maps.
What use might Geocoding have in Vision?
There are a number of uses for Geocoding information in an engineering environment but just imagine for a second that you had a Google map and as you panned and zoomed around on it you saw pins at all the locations your firm has done a project. Now imagine that as you hover over a pin you see a pop up box showing details of the project. Perhaps the project number, name, project manager, etc. You quickly start to see the huge potential benefits such a tool could have.
For Geotechnical engineers having the ability to quickly identify past projects at a specific location can provide a good head start toward submitting a winning proposal new projects. You could enter an address and quickly see if you’ve done work at that location for other clients and you may have information on record about soil conditions, etc.
All of the above and more is very possible with a little ingenuity and the Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface).
In a future post I will begin to lay out how you can take advantage of these tools to provide your team with a wealth of information in a familiar and easy to use visual format.