MetaLocator gets its latitude and longitude directly from a variety of data providers based on the address provided. The process of converting a written address into a latitude and longitude is called geocoding, and it can contain subjective ambiguities. Correct and complete address data is essential to a reliable geocoding result.
The geocoder is provided the following fields
Address City State Postal Code Country TLD
Incorrect or incomplete information provided in these fields can throw off the geocoder. Common problems include:
- Non-geographic information in the Address field: MetaLocator expects a street address in the Address field. This field should not include Suite, Apt or Floor information. That should be placed in the Address2 field, which is not used during geocoding. Additionally, building names, "plazas" or any other non-geographic information should be moved to address2.
- No TLD provided: A TLD is an international standard two-letter country code. Without a TLD, MetaLocator searches the entire globe for a given address. Surprisingly, there are significant overlaps in postal codes, city and street names. Providing a TLD is essential to proper geocoding. See here for more information about TLDs.
- PO Boxes: Post office boxes do not resolve to a geographic location and should not be provided in the "Address" field. They can be safely provided in the "Address2" field.
- Non Standard Country or City Names: Providing geography names as non-standard abbreviations (e.g. "CAN." instead of Canada) can confuse the geocoder.
- Incorrect or Incomplete address data: Ensure that all the fields specified above are provided and correct.
Our location editor allows you to provide an exact latitude/longitude for a location in the case that our geocoder is not returning appropriate results. You may manually edit the latitude (lat) and longitude (lng) fields by providing the values directly as shown below.
Be sure to uncheck the "geocode on save" checkbox on the Tools tab to avoid the geocoder from trying to re-geocode the location.
Another option is to manually position the map marker which will automatically adjust the latitude and longitude.
Geocoding Test Tool
To test the geocoder's output, click Tools in the very top navigation bar, then Geocoding Test Tool. Enter the address and two-letter top-level domain to see the exact response from the geocoder as shown below