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Google Secures Patent For Geocoding

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Today, Google was awarded the geocoding patent, which will allow them to issue geocodes (longitude and latitude readings) for postal addresses they’ve gathered from documents and web sites, among other places.

The patent also calls for the capturing of addresses from documents, web or otherwise. This data will be used to develop geographic coordinates, which correspond map-wise with the captured address. According to Gary Price at the SearchEngineWatch blog, geocoding could be used to map the derived information, providing visitors a more user-friendly experience when they are conducting local searches through Google.

Geocoding could also be used to target ads based on user location and to ensure search results are accurate for the area responsible for the query. Google’s patent application has more:

Some web documents may be of particular interest to users that reside in certain geographical areas. For example, web documents associated with an on-line newspaper may be of most relevance to the geographical area covered by the newspaper. Web documents associated with local businesses or organizations are additional examples of web documents that may be of particular interest to a geographical area. Thus, it can be desirable for a search engine to know whether a web document has geographical significance and when it does, the geographical locations associated with the web document.

As you can see, Google Maps is not the only service Google plans on employing the geocode data. Judging from the patent, Google’s robust geo-targeting ability will affect whom and where search results and Google’s ads appear.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

Google Secures Patent For Geocoding
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