Data startup Factual has been one of the most covered product offerings on our site. Over the last couple of years, it has expanded its open data set platform, using location data as its main offering to developers via its Factual Places APIs. The Factual team is on full steam and has just announced a single global API to access place data and added new countries. The company also is making available a rich collection of attributes about each restaurant in its places database.
Earlier this year, we reported on Factual partnering with SimpleGeo to create one of the largest business listings database. At that point in time, it covered 30 million places across 45 countries. Factual's places database now stands at a mind boggling 55+ million places in 50 countries, with China and Canada as the newest entrants today.
To top it all, developers can now access all this structured information via a single places API endpoint. So if you want to search for a petrol station in Europe or Coffee in Canada, you can use the same API. Previously, Factual had country-specific endpoints.
If you are looking to create a mashup or mobile app that combines location and restaurants, Factual’s latest announcement includes something that is going to be extremely palatable. The company added a brand new restaurant dataset with 43 long tail attributes. Imagine being able to use these attributes to filter out the restaurant dataset. A sampling of the 43 attributes includes: price, cuisine, ratings, parking, meal options, wheelchair accessibility and many more.
Factual is definitely on its way to becoming the Uber Yellow Pages with a truly global reach.
It's almost hard to remember that the company started as a generic data platform before focusing on location data in September 2010. While the company is still focused on local data, it sees a future where it works with many verticals. Its main Factual API can still be used to access any in its system, including sets you add yourself. In 2010 the Newsweek Best High Schools in America feature (above) was powered by the Factual API.