When looking for a place to live, the surrounding area matters. Knowing if the property has easy walking access to shops, places of interest or public transport can definitely sway a buyer's purchasing decisions. Walk Score is a service that measures walkability within specific locations and also provides neighbourhood maps to the real estate industry. Walk Score's Travel Time API makes this functionality available to be easily integrated with other applications.
Geocoding involves converting a description of a physical address into coordinates that represent that location on a map to perform spatial analysis. This tutorial on the Google Maps APIs blog describes the two approaches to geocoding with Google Maps APIs, and when to use them.