Simon Willison’s Weblog

Wednesday, 20th May 2009

Yahoo! Placemaker. Really exciting new API from Yahoo!—Placemaker accepts a block of text (or a URL to HTML or RSS) and extracts and returns geographical locations mentioned in the text. I just ran my djng blog entry through it and it pulled out “Prague” as the only location mentioned. This should be really useful for adding geodata to existing textual content. # 9:34 pm

Yahoo! Geo: Announcing GeoPlanet Data. The Yahoo! WhereOnEarth geographic data set is fantastic, but I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable about building applications against it in case the API went away. That’s not an issue any more—the entire dataset is now available to download and use under a Creative Commons Attribution license. It’s not entirely clear what the attribution requirements are—do you have to put “data from GeoPlanet” on every page or can you get away with just tucking the attribution away in an “about this site” page? UPDATE: The data doesn’t include latitude/longitude or bounding boxes, which severely reduces its utility. # 9:12 pm

Google Maps Data API (via) I’m disappointed by this one—it’s really just a CRUD store for the KML files used in Google MyMaps. It would be a lot more useful if it let you perform geospatial calculations against your stored map data using some kind of query API—a cloud service alternative to tools like PostGIS. # 9:07 pm

Offline Processing on App Engine: a Look Ahead. A session at IO next week: “App Engine was designed to run request-driven web applications, although this will change in the coming year with the release of a number of offline computing components. In this session, we’ll explore the task queue/executor model of computation and some of the more interesting applications.” # 12:40 pm

2009 » May