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 generally 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. In addition, in a further step, geocoding has been installed directly into the central address management (CAM) to simplify applications and their usage.
The coordinates determined can be used in various applications; for example, in the following applications:
● Display of business objects on a map (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, on a country-specific basis, to various geocoding programs. This distribution function is carried out by the SAP geocoding framework. 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 via an interface defined by SAP. Manufacturers of geocoding programs can be validated for use of this interface.
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 service.sap.com/instguides ® mySAP Business Suite Solutions ® mySAP SCM ® Using SAP SCM 5.0 Server ® Installation Guide - PTV eServer.