Trends | 5 MIN READ

14 essential web services to put geographic intelligence at the heart of your business applications

 Aug 29, 2019

Photo credits: William Iven - Unsplash

Thanks to GEOCONCEPT’s handy optimization solutions you can access a fully comprehensive catalogue of geographic and geoptimization web services that are ready to use:

  • EITHER integrate them within your own applications and existing business processes to enrich them;
  • OR combine them with one another (as well as with third party web services) to build applications or operating processes that correspond exactly to your needs.

Whatever the specificities of your daily routines, you will have instant access to advanced functionalities thanks to these these web services that help you get the most from the geographic dimension of your data to:

  • improve operational efficiency and productivity of teams on the ground;
  • analyse your activity and your marketplace to the last detail so you can make informed decisions about organisation, siting of branches or agencies, and investment;
  • draw up more targeted marketing and sales strategies;
  • offer your customers services that are both more reliable and more personalised.

What is a web service?

If you are more «business oriented» than technologically inclined, you are perhaps wondering what a web service is? It is quite simply an applications module that can be called by another application via the web to provide a service, transmit information or perform a specific treatment. The advantage? Extra power to exploit the best algorithms and functionalities for the particular domain you are working in at the time:

  • without having to write complicated integration code, something that always seems to end up giving rise to problems of maintenance and upwards scalability …
  • without worrying about questions of infrastructure and server capacity.

Web services are, in effect, hosted on an external platform, and shared so that users can request them as and when needed – the work of managing loading and guaranteeing service availability falls to the host ,whatever the volume of the demand.

4 families of web services to bring your projects to life – make it happen!

GEOLOCALIZATION, ADDRESS SEARCH AND STANDARDISATION

>> Geocoding – The cornerstone for any application designed to analyse, visualise or optimize spatial data, this web service returns one or several responses (if there is any ambiguity) from an address entered in simple text format,. The data returned include geographic coordinates for the address and a reliability score. Depending on the precision level desired and the quality of the input data, addresses can be geocoded on town, street, nearest street number or to the exact street number. This web service can be used for one-off or batch treatments, and is triggered manually or fully automated. To find out all you need to know about geocoding, we recommend reading this article

>> Reverse Geocoding – This service returns an address in its correct form (street number, street, city and post code) from X-Y coordinates entered by a user or uploaded automatically from a third party application.

>> Autocompletion – This service is a real time-saver for the user, who enters an element of a localization, for example the name of a city, a street or place name. A list of most likely matches are displayed as the text is entered, leter by letter, so the user can simply select the best suggestion, so limiting searching time and preventing erroneous place-names or other address details being introduced within your database.

>> Address contraction – This service takes as input an address and returns its contracted version according to Afnor Z10-011 and NF Z10-011 (32 and 38 characters) standards. Example: the address «123 Bis, Boulevard du MARÉCHAL Jean de-Lattre-de-Tassigny Inférieur» becomes «123 B BD MAL J LATTRE TASSIGNY INF», the address recognised by postal services.

ITINERARY, GEOGRAPHIC SEARCHES & ISOCHRONES

>> Itinerary calculation – This web service calculates the best route between two addresses and returns a complete route sheet. The calculation can be based on an optimization of time or journey distance. You have the option of:

  • choosing the profile of the object that will travel – pedestrian, bicycle, car, van or lorry. Restrictions relating to heavy goods vehicles (height, width, weight, transport of dangerous goods...) are taken into account in the itinerary calculated;
  • adding intermediate points to make up a series of route stops;
  • excluding sections of the graph to impose, for example, a journey without tolls;
  • creating restriction or no-entry zones.

>> Search around – This service takes as input a departure point and list of geolocated resources (for example, list of customers, shops, goods for sale…). It returns the list of resources closest to the departure point as a function of criteria specified in the query (properties with a swimming pool within a radius of 15 kms, for example). It suggests three definitions of the notion of proximity: the shortest distance as the crow flies, the lowest number of kilometers via the road network and the shortest journey time, and offers the same options as the itinerary calculation web service (choice of vehicle, restricted zone..).

>> Search along – This web service allows you to add one or several pre-existing journey stops with the least possible deviation from the shortest route. The algorithm explores the possibilities and suggests points offering the best score as a function of specified criteria. It also allows you to choose the type of vehicle and to define restricted zones.

>> Generation of isochrones/isodistances. This can be indispensable to view catchment areas, zones of service fulfilment, or areas of influence, the web service calculates an isochrone/isodistance from a specified point and returns the geometry of the calculated zone.

>> Matrix calculation – This web service calculates a matrix of itineraries for a group of points and returns a distance matrix that can be exploited directly by applications for guided navigation and route optimization.

NB: like the services described above, these two web services allow the user to choose the type of vehicle and to create restricted zones.

ROUTE OPTIMIZATION

>> Route optimization – From a list of points to visit, the simplified version of this web service defines the optimum route while minimising the journey times and distances. The sequencing of visits is optimized on the basis of geographic and operational constraints (time window, visit duration…) and takes into account the vehicle type, characteristics of the vehicle if heavy goods are involved, and restricted zones defined by the user or linked to the vehicle characteristics.

>> The full version of this web service allows the user to define optimum routes with minimum operating costs thanks to the taking into account, on the one hand, of the road characteristics and types of vehicle, and on the other, any constraints linked to customers and personnel resources. The optimization is performed by the search for the least global cost on the basis of costs configured by the user or costs by default provided by the optimization module.

>> Collection and depot – This web service offers the best pick-up / drop-off and collection / delivery solutions for businesses engaged in transport of people and goods. The algorithm searches for possible pick-up and drop-off points on existing journeys and returns the most pertinent for each journey. It also allows the choice of a vehicle and definition of restricted zones. Il permet également de choisir le type de véhicule et de définir des zones de restriction.

CARTOGRAPHY

>> Map display – This service allows you to publish images from Geoconcept maps in WTMS format (Web Map Tiled Service (WMTS) while respecting the standards of Open Source Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The WMTS standard describes the cartographic data in the form of predefined tiles loaded as and when needed, assuring highest levels of performance. ies chargées au fur et à mesure des besoins en offrant un haut niveau de performance.

>> Transformation of coordinates – This web service automatically translates coordinates expressed in a cartographic projection system into the projection system of your choice – for example Lambert 2 Extended to WGS84. It can be used for treatments on a case by case basis or in batches.

Fleet tracking, interactive searching on a map, localization of customer portfolio, crisis management, calculation and display of itineraries, visual and spatial analysis, route optimization… Our web services provide the building blocks to combine and/or integrate within your systems to construct a fully comprehensive working interface matching your precise needs and enabling you to fulfil the needs and expectations of your users.

To get your project up and running, don’t hesitate to consult one of our experts!

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