Frequently Asked Questions

We collected the most common customer questions about geocoding, API access, subscription plans as well as account management.

General

  • What is positionstack?

    The API was built to offer an affordable and straightforward REST API interface for global forward and reverse geocoding in real-time, supporting nearly all countries worldwide with more than two billion global addresses covered. The API is making use of a number of trusted data sources to provide a high level of accuracy for every geocoding API request made. If you are interested in trying out the API, simply create a free account and be up and running within minutes.

  • Who runs the API?

    The positionstack API is part of the apilayer ecosystem and sits next to 20+ other microservice APIs currently on the market, including currencylayer for exchang rate data, serpstack for SERP data scraping and ipapi for IP geolocation data. You can learn more about apilayer by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Geocoding & API

  • How scalable is the positionstack API?

    Thanks to apilayer's scalable cloud infrastructure positionstack is hosted on, the API is capable of handling anything from hundreds of API lookups per month all the way to millions of geocoding requests per hour. Depending on which subscription plan you choose, you will be able to access the API with a strict, extended or even completely flexible rate limit.

  • How accurate is positionstack geocoding data?

    Geocoding data returned by the positionstack API is sourced from multiple, highly reliable sources, such as Nominatim, GeoNames, Pelias and OpenStreetMap. Updates to our dataset are made multiple times per day and smart filters and algorithms ensure the highest possible level of consistency across API requests and accuracy in geo data responses.

  • What is the difference between forward and reverse geocoding?

    Forward geocoding is the process of looking up a plain-text address or place name (e.g. Eiffel Tower), whereas reverse geocoding is performed by passing latitude and longitude values of a desired location to the API. If successful, both types of geocoding return an extensive array of location-related data as well as multiple potential results along with confidence scores.

  • Can I embed a map in my website?

    Yes, if embeddable maps are supported on your subscription plan you will be able to make use of an API response object named "map_url" containing a URL that can be embedded on your website using an iFrame.

  • Which countries are supported?

    The positionstack API supports all countries worldwide. However, some countries come with better coverage than others, which is also the case for locations within a specific country. By combining and cross-checking multiple reputable geo data sources, our API does a great job at finding the exact location you are looking for, at any point.

  • Can I look up multiple locations in one API request?

    Yes, batch requests (using HTTP POST) are supported by the API on the Professional Plan and higher. You can learn more about batch requests by jumping to our API Documentation.

Plans, Pricing & Payment

  • Which payment methods are supported?

    Payments for the positionstack API can be made via all major credit card providers (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner's Club, American Express) as well as via PayPal. Enterprise and large-volume customers may request annual bank transfer payments to be enabled. You can change your payment method at any point in time in the "Payment" section of your account dashboard.

  • Can I also pay yearly?

    Yes. If you choose annual billing, the total price of your subscription plan will be 20% lower than the total amount you would pay with a monthly payment frequency. You can also switch from monthly to yearly billing anytime.

  • How can I change my payment frequency?

    In order to change your billing frequency from monthly to yearly or from yearly to monthly, you will be required to downgrade your account back to the Free Plan.

    Step 1: Navigate to the Subscription page, click "Downgrade" in the Free Plan section and confirm your downgrade. Downgrades are not effective immediately, your premium subscription will remain active until the end of the current billing period.

    Step 2: Once your billing period ends and your account downgrade has become effective, navigate back to the Subscription page and click "Upgrade" in your preferred subscription plan's section. You will now be aked to choose a new billing frequency.

    If you need any assistance changing your billing frequency, please do not hesitate to contact us.

API Access & Features

  • What is an API Request?

    One API request is consumed every time the positionstack API returns geocoding data, regardless of which endpoint was used for your request. If your request is unsuccessful and returns an error instead, your quota will not be affected.

  • What happens if I exceed my API Request volume?

    Customers are notified automatically via email and in the account dashboard as soon as at least 75%, 90%, and 100% of the monthly allowed API volume is reached. Your quota may be exceeded by a maximum of 20%, after which your API access will be disabled. You can choose to upgrade your account or contact our team for a quote anytime.

  • What is the API's uptime?

    Our API's system status is closely monitored around the clock. Every effort is made to ensure the highest possible level of availability and consistency, and we are proud to have an average uptime rate of nearly 100% (99.9%), calculated based on the past 12 months.

    There is a public API status page available at the following URL: status.positionstack.com.

All questions answered? Get an API access key now to start using the geocode API for free

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