HERE Map Content Developer's Guide



Preference indicates the sequence/priority of official or unofficial Admin Areas coming from on the same admin level with respect to searchability (entry and/or response) and/or display.


Table 1.
Values Unknown
0 Unknown
1 Preference Default
2 Primary
3 Alternative
4 Secondary
5 No Area
6 Informal
7 Hidden
8 Unused


Usage depends on the Preference value:

  • "Primary" serves as the default name for geocoding, search and display.
  • "Alternative" enhances search by enabling search (entry and return) of Administrative names. The name is returned only if explicitly searched or no Admin names of higher rank (in preference) are present.
  • "Hidden" enhances search by enabling entry but not including the Administrative name in the response and display. Instead, it is the associated "Primary" Admin Area that should be returned instead.
  • "Informal" enhances search and display of named places that are generally not part of the official Administrative structure by allowing search but displaying the associated Primary Admin Area.


  • Preference is applied as follows:
    • "Primary" for areas bearing the preferable administrative name, generally based on official governmental authorities, e.g., the administrative structure according to the postal administration.

      Example: New York and Manhattan are both mapped as CITY. New York is attributed as PRIMARY.

    • "Alternative" for areas bearing an unofficial Administrative Area but important for search/destination and display, e.g., districts and neighbourhoods.


      New York and Manhattan are both mapped as CITY: New York is attributed as PRIMARY, Manhattan as ALTERNATIVE

      Eindhoven Centrum(DISTRICT)

    • "Hidden" for areas that are not used in the standard addressing system but are important for search and destination selection, e.g., Areas representing a greater metropolitan area.

      Examples: Metro Chicago, Metro Manila

    • "Informal": for areas or parents of an Administrative Area that are not used for standard addressing but are important for search/destination and display.

      Example: A historic place inside a city centre, which is not identified as official place but whose name is still used.

  • The following are applied to Administrative Levels regardless of the actual area they represent, Administrative Area or Zone (as defined by legacy HERE Map Products).
    • Primary
    • Alternative
    • Hidden
    • Informal