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The term geocoding comes from the area of geographical data processing. It describes the process for determining the geographical coordinates (longitude and latitude, altitude) from the address data given. There are various commercial geocoding programs that determine the required data using the address attributes (country, region, postal code, city, street, and so on). It is therefore possible in many ways to enhance the existing data basis of these programs gradually (per country, for example). Within the SAP system, an interface has been created for such geocoding programs that is accessible for applications. Geocoding is a service that is not firmly integrated into the central address management (CAM). Applications that do not use CAM can nevertheless implement geocoding by installing a geocoding program. Specifically in SAP SCM, you have the option of geocoding the locations that have an address, using the PTV eServer geocoding program. For more information, see the Service Marketplace under   SAP Business Suite Applications   SAP SCM   Using SAP SCM 7.0 Server   Installation Guides   PTV eServer for SAP SCM Server 7.0  .

You can use the coordinates that are determined in various applications; for example, in the following applications:

  • Display of business objects on a map, for example a location (localization of a business object on a map using address data)

  • Determination of the distance (distances can be calculated on the earth's surface from the geocoordinates determined; for example, as a first approximation as the crow flies or with the relevant map material on a street basis)

  • Routing (for example, in Transportation Planning, determining a route on a street basis)

  • Regional evaluation (for example, evaluating all customers within a radius of 50km or determining the nearest competitor)

The solution chosen by SAP guarantees a problem-free connection to various geocoding programs. A model has been selected that provides a single interface for SAP applications. In Customizing it is possible to pass on these addresses using the SAP geocoding framework, on a country-specific basis, to various geocoding programs. This function allows various geocoding programs (for example, a special geocoding program for North America, another for Europe) to be used in the system. Depending on the country given in the address, the various geocoding programs are used. The geocoding programs are called by means of an interface defined by SAP. Manufacturers of geocoding programs can be validated for use of this interface.


Geocoding Levels

You use geocoding levels to store geocoordinates for the address of a location on different levels of detail, for example by house number, postal code, or region. Having different levels of detail for the geocoordinates of a location allows you to improve the performance of the distance and duration determination between two locations. This is important if, for example, you have a large number of locations geocoded on a high level of detail thereby making the distance and duration determination a performance critical process. The lower the accuracy level the more locations share the same geocoordinates.

You can define the geocoding strategy that a geocoding level uses as well as which geocoding program to use and which address fields to pass. You define geocoding levels in Customizing for SCM Basis under   Master Data   Location   Geocoding   Define Geocoding Levels  .

Example Example

You have two transportation lanes. Transportation lane A contains the start location WALLDORF and the destination location MUNICH. Transportation lane B contains the start location WALLDORF and the destination location REGENSBURG. In the location master, MUNICH and REGENSBURG are part of the same region and geocoded to be part of the same region.

When determining the distances and durations, the system first determines the distance and duration for transportation lane A and saves the data in the buffering table. As transportation lane B ends in the same region, the system can reuse the data in the buffering table instead of running a second determination of distance and duration thereby increasing the performance of the system. The system only needs to call the distance and duration determination program once. You can define the required accuracy level in Customizing for SCM Basis under    Master Data   Transportation Lanes   Distance and Duration Determination   Define Strategy for Distance and Duration Determination  .

End of the example.

Note Note

If you delete geocoding levels in the system, you can delete geocoordinates that have become obsolete as a consequence of this. To delete obsolete geocoordinates, you can use the Delete Obsolete Geocoordinates report. For more information, see Deletion of Obsolete Geocoordinates.

End of the note.

To use this feature, you must have activated the business function Enhanced Services for Transportation Network (SCM_SCMB_TR_NETWORK).

Mass Geocoding

If you want to maintain geocoding for multiple locations, you can use the Mass Geocoding report. For more information, see Mass Geocoding.

More Information

For more information about the geocoordinates of a location, see Display and Maintenance of Geographical Data.

For more information about distance and duration determination, see Distance and Duration Determination.