SimpleGeo is the Location Database API We've Wanted

Once you get beyond the most basic map mashups, you'll run into a problem with data storage and access, because you can't hard-code hundreds of markers. It's a problem that SimpleGeo wants to fix. And from the looks of their new Platform, they've gone beyond expectations.

SimpleGeo launched its highly anticipated geographic data platform (our SimpleGeo API profile) and announced a data marketplace. The platform allows developers to store up to 1 million points of their own data for free. Once the data is on SimpleGeo, you can do lookups, such as finding the closest points.

The service is similar to what we were hoping to eventually see from Google My Maps, as we wrote last summer in Let Google Be Your Geo Database. Near the end of 2009 Google added spatial search for radius and boundary queries.

SimpleGeo's Matt Galligan says point storage is only the beginning. Along with "nearest point" lookups, SimpleGeo will soon be able to grab points by neighborhood. And, once the service store polygons, it will be able to perform advanced spatial queries to extract points from dynamic areas (such as developer-defined zones or those drawn by users).

The SimpleGeo data marketplace has received the most media attention. It lets anyone share data with other developers--for free or for a price. Developers keep 70% of any revenue, according to Mashable. Galligan officially launched the service at the Where 2.0 conference (video embedded below):

Shares from the marketplace is only one revenue stream for SimpleGeo. For heavy users of its platform (over 1 million calls), there's a steep initial pricepoint of $399, with two more levels capping out at 30 million calls nearly $10,000 per month.

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