Yesterday Google Maps Mania announced that New Zealand and Australia now had address searching on maps.google.com. Last night I started drafting a post that suggested that geocoding for these two countries couldn’t be too far behind. Well, before I could even press “publish” Google announced exactly that.
The examples in Chapter 4 will work perfectly well without modification for these new countries too, so those of your basing your lookups on our examples should be able to use this new feature right away.
This makes Google’s geocoder by far the most comprehensive street-level geocoder that is available for free, covering a total of eight countries (the others being USA, Canada, France, Spain, Italy and Germany if you’ve forgotten).
We expect that the next few countries to be added to the list will be in Europe since they seem to be working on countries for which they already have good street-level maps.
The aborted Japanese geocoder (from their very first launch in June) may make a return eventually too, but as we mentioned in the book, street addresses in Japan are often strange and unpredictable, so don’t count on it before 2007.