After launching its public beta a year ago, SimpleGeo is making public its storage product the company is based upon. Though the company has offered a few other geo APIs in the interim, the SimpleGeo Storage API geo database solution is the only product for which it charges and it appears to have lowered the price.
We called SimpleGeo the location database API we've wanted because it's much easier than setting up your own geographic database or writing your own spatial queries. SimpleGeo hosts this in the cloud, providing developers access to lookups and storing via a RESTful API. When someone rolls their own geo database, performance quickly becomes an issue. According to the company's press release, 99% of the spatial queries it saw during private beta were processed in less than one-tenth of a second.
When SimpleGeo first announced pricing for its service, it used a tiered model. Now, multiple sources suggest that the company is moving to a pay-per-use model similar to the Amazon S3 API, which charges for both storage and usage. The new pricing is said to be 10 cents per 1,000 records stored and 25 cents per 1,000 queries, though this is not yet reflected on the SimpleGeo website. Previously, the first tier of usage was $399 per month, with tiers all the way up to $10,000 per month. For most developers, the new pricing will likely be cheaper, and at the very least new services can ramp up on the cheap.
During the storage API's private beta, SimpleGeo announced two useful location-related APIs to provide some of the data it has licensed or collected internally. SimpleGeo Places is a free database of business listings and points of interest, which developers can build upon for local applications. SimpleGeo Context provides relevant contextual information such as weather, demographics, or neighborhood data for a specific location.