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Free Geocoding API: Top 7 Reverse Geocoding APIs in 2023

API Addresses

Locating any address is more straightforward with a free geocoding API that converts it to geographic coordinates called forward geocoding. Likewise, a reverse geocoding API free converts the latitude and longitude coordinates of location data into a human-readable property address. Most free geocoding API services offer both forward and reverse geocoding.

In this article, you’ll discover the seven most popular free geocoding API services that reverse geocode lookups with an API key for every geocode request. However, before diving into these services, let’s take a look at why geocoding services are to everyday users like you and me.

Why Is Reverse Geocoding API Important?

A reverse geocoding service offers many benefits to business applications when they don’t know the addresses, but have access to the accurate geocoding of a certain location. Thus, as a business, you can get the addresses you need to know.

What is a free geocoding API

Such a capability is a direct mail marketer’s dream come true, notwithstanding their dubious accuracy. Additionally, you can use the reverse geocoding data for various regular business processes.

Furthermore, suppose you’re a digital online business that stores the customer’s location based on geolocation data. In that case, converting geocode addresses to human-readable addresses is much easier.

The following techniques illustrate some of reverse geocoding’s most significant applications:

  • Enhanced customer database
  • Delivery updates for devices
  • Device tracking
  • Direct mail marketing

Now that you know what a geocoding API does, let’s move into how it operates.

How Does Reverse Geocoding Work?

For instance, if you consider Google Maps API, they provide an API key for free upon registration. Then you can use this API key to access the reverse geocode API through a URL, reverse keyword, and the required parameters. Hence, these parameters are:

  • API key
  • Latitude and longitude codes
  • Limit: the maximum number of results
  • Type: Location type whose possible values include country, state, city, postcode, street address, or apartment
  • Format: This consists of the response in either geojson, XML, or JSON format
How does a free geocoding API works

Then finally, the API parses the results and shows them on a web page in HTML format. This is how most reverse geocoding APIs work.

What Are the Top 7 Free Geocoding APIs?

In this section, you’ll discover seven free reverse geocoding APIs that will assist in locating addresses. Some of these APIs are built using OSM data. Each API has free plans that enable you to send a geocoding request or a few requests. Then you’re eligible to use its pricing plans if you require sophisticated features.

1. IPStack 

IPStack is a free geolocation API that shows the geographic coordinates and other location information, such as country, city, continent, and region codes and names based on a visitor’s IPv4 or IPv6 address.

So to access the requests, you can send HTTPS requests through the base URL, followed by the IP address string and API access key. You can get a free API access key that IPStack generates for free.

Then you get the results in JSON format, which the API endpoints generate. Finally, in your application, you need to write the parsing part for retrieving the latitude and longitude data.

There are other services, such as the location, currency, timezone, connection, and security options, which you can get by registering for its plans.

2. Positionstack

This free geocoding API performs reverse and forward geocoding with a unique API access key for each account you register. You can request the API calls for the basic plan using industry-standard HTTPS. Furthermore, the API provides JSONP callbacks, where you can append the callback function name to the API URL.

For reverse geocoding, there are options to pass parameters, such as latitude and longitude coordinates, as an IP address string. Then it returns JSON objects for geocoding results, where you can parse each JSON object to display the results. Its comprehensive documentation provides code examples.

3. Google Maps Geocoding Service

Google provides an API access key free of charge. However, there are limits to the number of requests you can make. With the free limit, you can use up to $300 in credits for 90 days. Additionally, API users receive $200 in credits each month for API queries, which equates to 100,000 requests for static maps or about 28,000 requests for dynamic maps.

The process to reverse geocoordinates is the same as the other two APIs above, where you call the API over HTTPS using the API access key and geographic coordinates. Then, it returns a human-readable address.

Map marker

4. Mapbox

Mapbox is the first choice among developers for integrating with mobile applications. Although Mapbox is not completely free, it allows up to 25,000 mobile users and 50,000 web loads. In addition, it provides excellent documentation, and map customization is simple. On the flip side, it has an abrupt learning curve, is not free of charge, its API is not customizable, and it may interfere with active background processes.

Prominent applications such as Facebook, Shopify, and Snap Inc use it.

5. OpenCage Geocoder

You can sign up and get the free API key, and then authenticate and specify the latitude, longitude, and other parameters to get a human-readable address. As mentioned on its homepage, it has comprehensive worldwide coverage and supports multiple programming languages and frameworks.

It provides numerous plans:

  • Smallest
    • $50
    • Send 10,000 daily and 300,000 monthly requests
  • Largest
    • As low as $100
    • Send 500,000 weekly requests and 15,000,000 monthly requests

6. Yandex Geocoder

Yandex is another free geocoding API that performs forward and reverses geocoding. With the free version, you can send up to 25,000 requests to the Geocoder, router, and panorama service combined. You can use the JavaScript API or HTTPS to access the Geocoder.

The routing service calculates the distance between two locations or its estimated time in the form of walking, cycling, driving, or public transit.

In contrast with panoramas, you can create virtual city tours, stroll through neighborhoods, or highlight important crossings and road signs.

7. Geoapify

Final in the list of free reverse geocoding APIs is Geoapify, which quickly translates geographic coordinates into a human-readable address. You can easily integrate Geoapify’s reverse geocoding API with other APIs that locate your geolocation.

Furthermore, you can pick a map style and further alter it to match your brand. They regularly update and host all their maps on the cloud, and it provides excellent documentation that eases your pain points.

Its free plan includes multiple API keys, up to 10km distances, and customer support. Other plans start as low as $59 per month.

What Factors to Consider Before Selecting a Free Geocoding API?

The primary factors will always be cost and technical correctness. In terms of technical correctness, you need to test if the human-readable addresses that free reverse geocoding APIs generate are accurate.

In addition, you need to test your specific needs, which implies evaluating your services and the actual requirements. Refrain from blindly believing someone’s online recommendations, as their needs probably differ from your needs.

Finally, ensure that you evaluate terms and conditions, maintenance, and support costs before making a decision.

On the other hand, you need accurate geolocation data before using a reverse geocoding service.

Apilayer contains APIs for basically all of your needs. Want to try out these APIs? Don’t wait anymore. Sign up with Apilayer for free.

Free Geocoding API FAQs

How accurate are reverse geocoding services?

The accuracy of geocoding data boils down to how accurate the latitude and longitude details you get from a geolocation API are. On the other hand, federal laws also restrict some of the location data you can collect from properties.

What are the features for developers in reverse geocoding API?

When using APIs for reverse geocoding, developers can anticipate releasing their interactive mapping products to market more quickly.

What is a geocoding API endpoint?

Even if the query is partially or entirely erroneous, the geocode endpoint determines the geo-coordinates of a given address, location, locale, or administrative area. Additionally, it returns complete postal address string and address information.

What is the maximum limit of geocoding requests you can submit from a single IP address?

This will vary from one geocoding API to another. For instance, Google API doesn’t have the maximum number of daily requests and allows 50 requests per second, the total sum of client-side and server-side requests.

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