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Address standardization refers to the process of taking an address and formatting it in a consistent and standardized way for storage and analysis purposes. This process ensures that addresses are represented uniformly and accurately across a geographic information system (GIS).
Using address standardization plays an important role in high quality analytics, efficient pattern detection, and high-quality routing directions. For example, with address standardization, a GIS system can detect a common address standard format across its database, account for various regional variations, and assign a consistent code to each address. In order to ensure accuracy and precision, address standardization must be done correctly and consistently.
• Country: The full country name (or an international code) should be specified
• Street address: The full street address should be specified
• City: The city name should be specified
• State or Province: The two-letter state or province code should be specified
• Postal Code: The postal code should be specified
Address standardization can be applied to any type of geographic information system, including online mapping services like Google Maps or GPS navigation systems. Address standardization is also important for many applications beyond mapping or navigation, such as for business intelligence, customer segmentation, and geocoding.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of address standardization in GIS, let's consider a hypothetical example. Say you have a dataset that contains addresses in the United States and it's in an unstructured format. Using address standardization, you could parse out the address components into individual fields, normalize them (e.g. using the two-letter state codes), and then store them in a GIS database. This would significantly reduce the complexity of your queries, since the data would be standardized and more easily searchable.
In the end, effective address standardization can greatly improve the accuracy and utility of GIS applications, datasets, and analytical processes. It is an essential component of any modern GIS system, and should be a priority when organizing and standardizing address-based datasets.