Bugs / Problems

Inconsistent Output in Geocoding Services API?

Hi Everyone,


First off, I want to congratulate you on putting together such a comprehensive and straightforward set of APIs. This is really excellent work, and it's a great way of making Census Bureau data more accessible.


However, in integrating with the Geocoding Services API, I seem to have noticed a bit of an issue: when looking up Geographies, the results are inconsistent. In particular, if I execute an identical GET request multiple times (searching for any one-line address), I will receive the *correct* layers about 10 out of 12 times. However, ~ 1 out of 12 requests will return an HTTP Status Code 200, and *with no error code or other communication* randomly return less than the requested set of layers (e.g. the API might decide not to return Census Tracts, or not to return ZCTA5, etc.).


Here is a sample URL that generates this repeatable issue, however note that this issue comes up with any of the one-line addresses that I have attempted:




This problem is also noticeable in the web-based Geocoding Services UI as well: just hitting refresh a bunch of times will ultimately produce an output which for some reason will drop one or more of the requested geographies seemingly at random.


As this is both a random / inconsistent occurrence, and one that occurs without any discernible error being reported out to the user, this makes ensuring/relying on the integrity of the API's response difficult.


All the best,




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Idea No. 356