Data Layers

Results from Geocode Earth are organized into various types called layers.

Each layer has a specific meaning, and generally fall into three groups: point layers, road layers, and administrative layers.

Point layers #

address #

Addresses represent any place with a physical address (housenumber + street) assigned by a governing body.

venue #

A venue represents any place with a name, either official or unofficial. Venues include all points of interest such as restaurants, stores, buildings, transit stops and natural landmarks.

Road layers #

street #

Streets include any named public or private areas used for travel. This includes highways & roads for vehicles plus some named pathways for bicycle or pedestrian traffic.

intersection #

An intersection is any place where two or more streets meet.

Intersections are available in North America only.

Administrative layers #

Administrative layers represent geographic areas, these layers together form an administrative hierarchy.

Administrative layers usually parent other administrative layers, the “lowest” available level in the hierarchy such as locality or neighbourhood serves as the parent for point layers like address or venue.

Most, but not all, administrative layers correspond to official government boundaries.

Starting from the “highest” (most likely to contain other layers), the administrative layers supported by Geocode Earth are:

continent #

Continents are large landmasses or groups of landmasses.

empire #

Empires represent the complete bounds of countries that have territories not usually considered part of the country itself. For example, the country of France is located entirely in mainland Europe, whereas the empire of France includes islands and territories all over the world.

country #

Countries represent sovereign or autonomous states. Countries always have a unique ISO 3166-1 code.

dependency #

A dependency is a territory of a larger entity generally not considered to be autonomous. For example, Puerto Rico is a dependency of the United States, whereas Greenland is an independent Country (and part of the empire of Denmark).

disputed #

A disputed record has claims of ownerships by multiple countries.

region #

Regions are generally the highest level of subdivision within a country. These include states in the United States of America and Australia, provinces in Canada and China, departments in France, etc.

county #

Counties generally represent the second highest level of subdivision within a country. Note that this term has different meanings in different cultures. We use the USA interpretation but also include the Boroughs of Alaska and Parishes of Louisiana as they perform the same function.

localadmin #

Localadmin records generally represent the most local form of government in a given country. In most places, the localadmin and locality are interchangeable. In the few exceptions, the localadmin generally encompasses several smaller, autonomous communities represented by locality records.

When looking for cities, if in doubt, chose locality over localadmin.

locality #

Locality records refer to any populated place and is the most common way to represent cities across the world.

borough #

Boroughs represent the first level division of a city where an official level of government exists.

In the United States the only examples are the five boroughs of New York City and the “Sides” of Chicago.

Internationally it’s common to find Boroughs in old European cities such as the twelve boroughs of Berlin where historically many smaller self-governed towns merged but maintained some local government function such as a town hall.

neighbourhood #

Neighbourhoods, unlike most other administrative layers, do not generally correspond to an officially recognized boundary (except in Australia, where they represent suburbs.

There is often no consensus on the extent of neighbourhoods and their boundaries are often approximate.

Geocode Earth always uses the British English spelling of neighbourhood.