As ever, time is flying, and it’s almost the holiday season of 2017. The good news about fast moving calendars is that we can get to our latest Top 3 blogs from the summer.
Geocoding, the attribution of geographic coordinates to a postal address, is a geospatial problem people have been trying to solve since the advent of GIS in the 1960s. Reliable geocoding has always been a concern in the property insurance market: After all, the first step in understanding the risk at a location is to know exactly where that location is. But in the last 15 years it has also become a concern for the consumer market, with Garmin’s perfection of consumer GPS location hardware and the ubiquitous Google Maps platform availability over phone networks. (Personal note: This amazes me. When I studied Geomatics in university in the ‘90s, it required 20 lbs of equipment worth thousands of dollars to match the positioning capability of my cell phone!)
The rapid expansion of available geocoding capabilities brought on by consumer demand has proved to be greatly beneficial to property insurance solutions. With increasingly available geocoding, software for property insurance has been able to grow from databases and paper maps, to GIS systems, and onward to sophisticated spatial tools that provide information to non-technical users. But geocoding remains imperfect. In fact, there are several problems.