When an address is entered on a record, One Church will try to verify it by calculating the geolocation using a variety of publicly available data sources including the US Census Bureau (known as TIGER data). We also geolocate international addresses as well using data sources such as Loqate's data. The process of getting an address's latitude and longitude coordinates is called geocoding.

If we are able to determine the coordinates with enough accuracy, the address will be marked as verified. Otherwise, it will be unverified. If an address is unverified, we weren't able to determine it's location with enough accuracy but it could still be a valid address. 

Note: only verified addresses can be mapped on the query builder since the latitude and longitude is needed. However, all addresses regardless of whether it was verified or unverified can still be mapped on Google by clicking on the "map it" button.

Accuracy

Geocoding is a challenging task and made even more so if 100% precision is required. While we will try to get the most accurate coordinates for an address, One Church is not a mapping service and cannot guarantee rooftop level accuracy for all addresses. However, we do try to return the best possible result based on the available data. If the geocode result is not rooftop, we try to get as close to the actual building as possible within our accuracy criteria (see below).

Important: latitude and longitude coordinates are ONLY used when mapping multiple addresses within One Church using any of the available query builders.

What do you consider accurate enough?

When we geocode an address, we perform the following checks to determine if the resulting coordinates are accurate enough to keep:

  • If the coordinates are marked as "rooftop," this is an exact match and is kept
  • Otherwise, if the address is accurate to a 9-digit ZIP code level of precision, this means it is usually block level accuracy and is kept
  • Otherwise, if coordinates are marked as "range interpolated" with at least 80% accuracy, it is kept. Range interpolation indicates that the returned result reflects an approximation (usually on a road) interpolated between two precise points (such as intersections).
  • Otherwise, the result was not accurate enough and is rejected. The address will be unverified.

Why not use Google, Bing, or other service for geocoding?

Google, Bing, and other such services make their own maps and gather their own data. They have many restrictions on how their data can be used and displayed making it unsuitable for mapping within One Church. We do however leverage Google Maps when mapping an individual address. 

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