Placecast Opens Match API to Make Location Data More Accurate

By March 31, 2010

Placeast today announced that it is opening its Match API to developers. The API enables location content providers and location-based application developers to refer to a location in any number of ways, and validate that those re

ferences resolve to one true location on the planet.

“Messy local data has been a problem online for years, which is now bleeding into mobile," said Greg Sterling, founder of Sterling Market Intelligence and an analyst Opus Research. "Cleaning up and correcting listings and POI data will help the entire location-based ecosystem."

The API disambiguates physical addresses, verifying that all the ways to note an address refer to the same place. It also maps all the relevant IDs from different content providers to that same place, so that all systems refer to it correctly.

Placecast President and founder Anne Bezancon, and Blair Swedeen, vice president of market development, explained to Atelier that Match API is necessary for the LBS community because location-based data-sets still have an inaccuracy rate of 30 percent.

It will never be possible to have 100 percent accuracy, since locations go out of business all the time, but the goal, Bezancon said, is to reduce inaccuracy to the minimum.

This is vital to the ecosystem’s monetization.

“An open accurate data set is the first key to unlocking location-based advertising. Similar to interoperability between carriers, an open system drives scale for reaching more consumers and in turns enables consumers reach their advertiser destination,” said Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman.

Currently, WCities, Socialight, Urban Mapping, and Buzzd are trial Match API customers.

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