Address validation helps verify the accuracy of address numbers, street names postal codes and more.
The three elements of address validation
While sometimes grouped differently depending on the source, address validation typically consists of three elements: cleansing, supplementation and standardization.
- Cleansing refers to repairing information such as a typo in the name of a street.
- Supplementation is the addition of missing address components, such as a postal code.
- Standardization encompasses address parsing, address formatting – for example, a house number being placed before or after the street name – and normalization, such as abbreviations (st. versus street).
Address validation use cases
Address verification has a core set of use cases. For example, it can be used to prepare an address for geocoding, ensure the correct delivery of a parcel or a letter, or check that an address does indeed exist in reality. Below we take a look at some common use cases.
- Postal address verification: A useful application for address validation includes recognizing or verifying mailing addresses in bulk for postal delivery provided by companies such as USPS and parcel shipping provided by companies such as UPS and FedEx.
- Validating shipping addresses for e-commerce: If you want customers to buy from you, requiring a shipping or billing address may be necessary for a website’s backend application. Nearly every database course examines postal addresses as a good baseline tutorial for data modelling in standard form, but what about the client side? This is where address validation comes in handy.
- Census research in the US and Canada: Geospatial information system (GIS) and marketing professionals can use TomTom's latest maps to identify the optimal Census blocks. Address validation is a first crucial step that facilitates quick identification of the customers’ and facilities’ geographies. Examples of this include localizing the best location for a new retail site based on demographics or identifying broadband service availability.
TomTom equips GIS professionals with seamless access to rich Census information for applications such as geocoding, geomarketing, site selection, and comprehensive demographic studies. For example, TomTom can deliver the boundary information needed to incorporate demographic data with the richness of the U.S. Census files. This enables users to perform business analysis at the most local level of census geography, carrying out precise GIS analysis without a map.