When Maps Lie: This Address Does Not Exist

Learn the difference between a “mappable” address and a valid address.

3 minute read

When it comes to validating physical addresses, many people might turn to Google Maps, a familiar and widely-used tool. However, relying solely on Google Maps for address validation can lead to unexpected surprises. It’s important to understand its limitations and know when specialized address validation software is a better choice. The key to understanding this point comes down to the difference between a “mappable” address and a valid, or verified, address.

What’s the difference?

A mappable address is an address, valid or not, that contains enough information for a mapping application to make a best-guess at its location.

A valid address, also know as a verified address, is a complete address that is recognized as deliverable by an official mail service such as the United States Postal Service.

While Google Maps is great for navigation and finding local businesses, it falls short when it comes to address validation for the purposes of sending mail. Its primary purpose is to help users navigate to an address, but that doesn’t guarantee that the address is recognized by postal services such as the USPS. When using the Google Maps search feature, you shouldn’t assume that a given address is deliverable, even if it auto-completes in the search bar.

On the other hand, postal address validation software is specifically designed to determine if addresses are valid for receiving mail. This software offers more detailed information about addresses, making it ideal for businesses and individuals relying on accurate mailing addresses for shipping, invoicing, and maintaining customer relationships. With dedicated address validation software, businesses can reduce the risk of undeliverable mail, save money on postage, and improve overall data quality, ensuring that mail reaches the correct address without costly errors or delays in delivery.

Use the Right Tool for the Job

While Google Maps is a fantastic tool for navigation and local search, it should not be your only tool when it comes to verifying the deliverability of an address. Google Maps offers its own address validation API, which is a tool for verifying addresses. This API allows businesses to integrate address validation functionality directly into their applications or websites.

Firstlogic also offers a capable address validation tool for addresses within the United States that also helps users understand each component of a US address cleanse. This tool is available as a free demonstration of Firstlogic software, which is available via on-premise, cloud, or API to process large volumes of addresses quickly and accurately.

Address information is crucial for various applications beyond just mailing. Ensuring the accuracy of addresses is essential because poor quality addresses can be costly for organizations.

Enterprise Tooling

Businesses should invest in specialized address validation software to ensure deliverability and maintain high-quality customer data. For large enterprise companies that need high-volume address validation using software hosted on-premise, an option like Firstlogic’s suite of postal address verification software is the perfect fit.