Product Update

Places API Update, November 2020

By Chris Winfield

Welcome to our November 2020 update!
At Swiftcomplete we release updates every single day, and we bunch them up and talk about them in our monthly product updates.
It's cold and dark outside, and everything's shut, but we're enjoying building the next generation of location technology and working towards our product vision - "Instantly find any place, anywhere".
Our main focus this release has been to expand our coverage from Great Britain to include cities in the USA and Canada, which will help to improve the user experience on city input fields.

Key updates

USA geocoding & location search

We're pleased to expand our coverage in early access to include the United States in the Places API.
At the moment, this is limited to places, states and ZIP codes, but we'll include streets and addresses shortly (hopefully in the December update.
US searching, with location biasing towards San Francisco, CA

US searching, with location biasing towards San Francisco, CA

The Places API now supports geocoding, reverse geocoding & flexible location searching in the USA, all with our pinpoint location biasing. We've cleaned and standardised the data, which includes cities, towns, villages, hamlets, townships and more.

Canada geocoding & location search

We can now also offer coverage for Canada in the Places API. At present this is limited to places (such as cities, towns & villages), provinces and territories, but we're currently processing addresses and streets which we're hoping will be ready for the December release.
Our Canadian search works really well with our location biasing, and can be combined with USA and / or UK data to provide seamless cross-border searching and autocomplete.
Canadian searching, with location biasing towards Ottawa, ON

Canadian searching, with location biasing towards Ottawa, ON

Country searching

This is a simple update, but we've added country names into the search results. As with all of our datasets, these can be filtered in or out, and you can use them to create a country search tool.
At the moment the country names are only in English, but we'll look to add localised country names in a future update.
Country autocomplete

Country autocomplete

Improved result ordering

We now take into account multiple factors such as the population, search volume and popularity of a place when working out which results come first, rather than simply prioritising cities.
The problem is that a place having city status doesn't always mean that it is large. For example, St Davids, a city in Wales with a population of just 1,841 would previously have had the same priority as London, a city with a population of almost 9 million.
This became even more apparent when we included data for the USA, so we've updated the ordering to generate more relevant results.
Searching for large cities near New York, USA

Searching for large cities near New York, USA


That's it for now, but take a look at our December update which features new and detailed data, and some exciting improvements to the searching.
If you have any questions or feature requests, we'd love to hear from you.
Click here to find out more about Swiftcomplete Places

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