Factual and SimpleGeo Create One of the Largest Business Listings Databases

Adam DuVander
Jun. 23 2011, 01:00PM EDT

Factual continues to spread its points of interest database across the Internet. SimpleGeo will incorporate Factual's business listings into its SimpleGeo Places API. Developers will then be able to access 30 million places across 45 countries to become what is likely the largest business listings database available via API. Factual is also the source of Facebook's popular Places feature.

When Factual launched its business listings, we asked will it become the go-to location database? The partnership with SimpleGeo points to the combined data and service as the one to beat. "Based on what developers have been asking for, it made a lot of sense for us to combine SimpleGeo's expertise with location technology with Factual's comprehensive Places data," Factual's Bill Michels said. Though there is a Factual API, it's built around accessing all types of data stored within Factual. SimpleGeo Places is strictly focused on making points of interest data available via its API.

SimpleGeo has prided itself on making its data as open as possible. The original SimpleGeo Places data is licensed as Creative Commons with no restrictions. While the terms around data that SimpleGeo owns hasn't changed, Factual's is subject to its existing terms of service. Factual terms also also very open, allowing for caching of the data, for example. The original SimpleGeo dataset will be made freely available as a download.

Regardless of licensing, the combined business listings API is helping location developers access more place data. The service will help kick-start new location apps, from check-in to recommendations. Mixed with the SimpleGeo Context API, which provides information about a location's neighborhood and city, the company has a great platform for developers. The SimpleGeo Storage API, which lets developer query their own data, further amplifies the possibilities within the geo platform.

SimpleGeo will also be contributing updates to the combined database back into Factual, further improving its local data, which hints at Factual's biggest value. It takes many references to a place then aggregates and cleans the data. Through an automated process, Factual aims to have the richest dataset available. And now that dataset will be even easier to access via SimpleGeo.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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