Metwit has announced that the company will be releasing a free trial plan of the Metwit Weather API to help developers who have created applications using Yahoo! Weather APIs and have been impacted by the shut down of the Yahoo! Geocoding API.
Image Credit: Metwit Soup Blog
The Yahoo! Geocoding API was integrated into the PlaceFinder API back in 2010 and allowed the reverse geocoding of locations by mobile device, as opposed to by address. Geocoding API calls would return the data as a WOEID (Where on Earth Identifier).
Yahoo! quietly shut down the free version of the PlaceFinder API at the end of February of this year (Yahoo! originally intended to shut down the API by November 17, 2012) and launched a paid version that is part of Yahoo! BOSS premium API services.
In addition to the PlaceFinder API being changed from a free service to a paid service, the BOSS version of the PlaceFinder API uses a brand new URL structure instead of the existing "http://where.yahooapis.com//geocode?q=" URL structure which has caused applications to stop working and 404 not found errors.
Many developers are now scrambling to find alternatives for the Geocoding API as well as having to rewrite the code of their applications. In the YDN Forum, a user named PJ M comments that Yahoo! could have made the transition to the paid version of the PlaceFinder API much easier for developers if instead of a 404 page, there had been a page informing developers that the API had been switched to a paid service. Below are some of the comments made by PJ M in the forum post:
"This really makes me sad, not only because the geocoding API no longer works, but because the shut down was handled completely inappropriately. A 404 page? Why not a page saying, "Yahoo is now charging for Geocoding, please click here to pay for this service." At that point, I enter my payment info and I'm done. Instead, I have to search the web for why I'm now getting 404 errors, get redirected a few times and then luckily find this thread only to learn that I have to rewrite all my applications to use a new service by Yahoo! that does exactly the same thing and I also have to pay for it."
The shut down of Yahoo!'s free geocoding API service also impacts applications that use the geocoding service in conjunction with Yahoo! Weather APIs. Applications that use Yahoo! weather APIs with calls including the WOEID as a parameter must now switch to the paid Yahoo! BOSS Geo Service.
Metwit has announced that a free trial plan (plan will be free until June 2013) of the Metwit Weather API will be released in approximately one week and will allow up to 5000 calls/day. Metwit is also considering offering custom free plans for one year (upon selection and approval by Metwit) for up to 5 applications. More information is included in the Metwit blog announcement.