# Python geocoders clients comparison

jeu. 12 mars 2015

In Python ecosystem, there are few libraries for call calling geocoding web services. Sometimes, directly using raw Python instead can be faster.

Until recently, GeoPy was the library for the job but we recently found a new project called Geocoder and where wondering why it seems to do the same job. We didn't really found a clue but choose instead to compare both solutions.

Let's see how they differ.

Repositories

## Python version support:

Winner: GeoPy

Explanation: GeoPy supports CPython 2.7, CPython 3.2, CPython 3.4, PyPy, and PyPy3 whereas Geocoder supports "only" CPython 2.7 and 3.4.

## Command Line

Winner: Geocoder

Explanation: There is none on the GeoPy side.

## Formats support

Winner: Geocoder

Explanation: Better because there are WKT and GeoJSON output whereas only in Nominatim in GeoPy. Moreover, you can pipe results, combined with command line abilities.

## Confidence

Draw

Explanation: in fact, it's not really library dependend but it varies from each provider.

## Providers

Draw

Explanation: It depends of the choosen/required geocoder(s)

There are 17 providers on GeoPy and 18 providers on Geocoder (included one nearly obsolete, TomTom) We didn't inspect deeper the reverse-geocoding abilities but both are available.

You can see a summary below.

GeocoderGeoPy
ArcGISArcGIS
Baidu MapsBaidu Maps
BingBing
FreeGeoIP
GeocodeFarm
Geocoder.ca
geocoder.us
GeonamesGeonames
GeoOttawa
HERE
IGN France
MapQuestMapQuest
MaxMindMaxMind
NaviData
OpenCageOpenCage
OpenStreetMapOpenStreetMap
SmartyStreets
TomTom (dead so not useful anymore except for "old" TomTom clients e.g https://geocoder.tomtom.com
What3WordsWhat3Words
YahooYahoo
YandexYandex

## Niceties

On both side, you can find some advantages.

On GeoPy, you can calculate distance between points using Haversine formula.

On Geocoder, you get for free the GeoIP support using FreeGeoIP and MaxMind. You can determine your location from your IP or get an IP for a location. You can also manage Elevation with the Google Elevation API and find Time Zone

Both libraries can use proxies or autocompletion on returned results (using raw on GeoPy) when using IPython.

## Conclusion

In our opinion, GeoPy really focus on (reverse)geocoding only whereas Geocoder is also about including more than the usual geocoding functions, in particular with the command line support.

We cannot choose a winner, both projects are too interesting.

Feel free to comment if any mistake was made on our side or you think some additions can be useful.

PS: Due to feedback, we updated supported geocoders list.