– A flatter response format for address components that is easier to parse
– The ability to tag an address component with multiple types
– Both full names and abbreviations for countries and states
– Differentiation between rooftop and interpolated geocoder results
– Both the bounding box and recommended viewport for each result
“The Geocoding Web Service is intended to enable precaching of geocoder results that you know your application will need in future,” says Google Maps API Product Manager Thor Mitchell. “For example, if your application displays property listings, you can geocode the address of each property, cache the results on your server, and serve these locations to your API application. This ensures that your application does not need to geocode the address of a property every time it is viewed by a user. However we do ask that you regularly refresh your cache of geocoder results.”
Mitchell is careful to point out that according to the Maps API Terms of Service, you must only use the Geocoding Web Service in conjunction with a Google Map.
More info about the Web Service can be found here.