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Is anybody aware of a database that consists of businesses, addresses and GPS location information, preferably searchable by city at a minimum? I have an application in mind that I'd like to develop and would like to know if someone is doing this for free or cheap in possibly a web service or similar open format.

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4 Answers 4

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Quick google revealed:

http://compass.webservius.com/

I am sure google MAPS/Bing MAPS API will have something you can use.

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funny a quick googling did nothing for me, must work on my google skillz a bit... –  tekiegreg Jan 12 '11 at 17:45
    

If you have the addresses for the businesses you can use the various geocoding APIs available to get the GPS coordinates.

http://developer.yahoo.com/maps/rest/V1/geocode.html

http://code.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/geocoding/

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A good source of information that has not yet been mentioned is SatNav Point of Interest (POI) files.

You can find an array of different categories, from public entities to local pubs.

I did some personal work on these files last summer for a project, they are (in the majority) just CSV files with a different file extension that you import into your SatNav. However, it is a task to find reputable sources of these and you may need to confirm the licenses that come with them.

Should be perfectly fine for any personal projects though.

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If you are thinking of building some sort of directory service where you need large amounts of geocoded addresses (like the 15 million or so business in the United States) you are going to have to pay and pay a lot.

If you are looking at something on the fly, like you have the business name already in hand and just need the co-ordinates to go with it, the look at Google geocoding service.

The geocoding service has a limit on the number of requests that you can do for free as well as a rate limit, so you can't batch fill you database very easily, but you can do them on the fly. I recommend that once you have an address geocoded, you store it to cut down on lag for the request and the limit on the number of requests you can make.

As for buying data, that has traditionally been at least a six figure number and there are a number of vendors around that provide that data, with varying levels of quality.

As for IP address geocoding, that is supported by google and a few others as well, but is not as accurate as private, fee based, services.

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