Yahoo Releases Placemaker: A Geo-Enrichment Platform

Andres Ferrate
May. 20 2009, 04:52PM EDT

Today at the Where 2.0 Conference Yahoo announced the release of Placemaker, a new "geo-enrichment" platform. The freely-available platform, which includes an API (our Placemaker API Profile), enables developers and publishers to make applications and data sets location-aware by determining the "whereness" of unstructured content (such as blog posts, new articles, feeds, and web pages).

Yahoo! Placemaker

According to Gary Gale's post on the Yahoo Geo blog, Placemaker is intended to help make the Internet increasingly hyperlocal:

How does Placemaker Work?

  • Developers specify structured and unstructued content; feeds, web
    pages, news, status articles, etc.
  • Placemaker identifies, disambiguates and extracts places
  • Placemaker returns geographic metadata, which determines the
    whereness of structured and unstructured content

Yahoo! Placemaker

It is exciting to see that Yahoo has released this new service, as it likely to encourage and foster greater accessibility to content that provides both geographic context and intelligence. It will also complement existing services such as the GeoNames RSS to GeoRSS API and the Calais API, both of which identify and extract place-based information.

Documentation for the Placemaker API is available and Yahoo has set up a forum for developers to exchange ideas. With the addition of Placemaker, our Mapping API list now includes 85 API profiles.

Andres Ferrate



[...] that uses Placemaker (our Placemaker API profile) to find a location from a body of text. When we covered Placemaker’s launch we mentioned its usefulness for geocoding others’ blog posts, as well as newspaper articles. [...]

Sounds very interesting. I have blogs dealing with both tourism and simulation games and it would be nice to use this on posts to show the location when somebody has described a flight they performed, or a holiday destination. Lets hope for a WordPress plugin to this effect.