Thanks for your comments. After the original post, I found the Yahoo API.
That's what I am going to use, I already signed up as a developer. It
much simpler than the one I found at geocoder.us that was free for
I had not seen them before, but noticed the site does have a terms and
conditions link. Oddly, the official T&C is still rather vague in defining
what constitutes commercial use. In part:
"Free data services are provided from sources in the public domain, or
under licenses that do not prohibit their open redistribution by us, e.g.
Creative Commons licenses. These services are licensed for use by the
general public for non-commercial uses *only*. Individuals and businesses
that wish to use our services for any commercial, for-profit activity must
obtain our premium services. Our free data services are subject to change or
withdrawal at any time. Access to free services may be throttled or
restricted, at our option and without warning."
Is geocoding your customer database for your own use a "for-profit activity"
if your business is not a non-profit organization? Clearly, if you sold
your mailing list you would be in violation. Other uses are arguably more
But since they also throttle to one request per 15 seconds when not using
the paid license, I think you are better off with Yahoo in this specific
example. At least until Yahoo changes their T&C the way Google mapping API