Something we wondered if we would ever see, but it seems the Google Maps API geocoder will now Geocode UK Addresses
and Postcodes (see update below). This is quite big news on many fronts, as traditionally UK geocoding is expensive, or where providers do geocoding its with restictions on use of the data commercially. But the API geocoder positivly encourages caching the geocodes for your locations (POIs), and in with particular Postcodes this has been a big no no. Can’t see any change in ToU’s in light of this, but we will see.
Has Google taken over the Royal Mail too now?
Update Nov ’07: … well it seems the postcodes was only a dream, and have now been withdrawn! Time will tell if this can be rectified. Ho hum…
Update Dec ’07: … the ToU have now been updated to clarify that the (http) geocoder is for the express use of ‘pre-caching’ geocodes for use on a Google Maps API map. (I’ve also clarified the above paragraph in regards to this). This also prevents some interesting uses, eg store locators that work before a map is shown (but an intereactive one with a map should be fine), which is a shame.