Google Maps is a nifty tool from Google, where with its API, you can provide mapping / GIS (Geospatial Information System) related services to your customers.
However, there’s one minor problem – it only accepts the location in latitude/longitude format. (according to Google Maps API docs which I accessed today).
So you can’t, for example, specify “Jakarta” as the input.
As always, there are free services all over the web to overcome this problem, called “geocoding”.
Unfortunately, most of them only works for certain places – not the whole world.
Thankfully, I managed to find out about a service called LocalSearchMaps.com. The author is able to provide this service by accessing multiple geocoding services; therefore able to cover almost the whole world. Very convenient.
The details on how to fully utilise this service can be found on Emad Fanous’ blog entry, titled Geocoding tool for Virtual Earth and Google Maps.
This would be a great help to a project that I’m working on. Thanks goes to Emad, and everyone involved.