The industry is joining us in the belief that the solution does not lie in a single, central database. Every company must be able to maintain their own location data in whatever format they wish and be able to share it seamlessly with others...
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 28, 2010
Placecast is finding traction with its solution for cleaning and managing location-based data. The creators of Placecast MatchAPI announce that in fewer than 60 days since it was initially launched, more than 200 LBS-related companies have signed up to use the data management tool, including WCities, Socialight, Buzzd and AlikeList. Initial experience with location-based companies using the MatchAPI platform reveals interesting insights about the quality of location data.
Statistics from datasets uploaded indicate that when the Placecast MatchAPI platform cleans a data set, there is an average fault rate of over 8%, growing to as much as 40% in data sets with high proportions of user-generated content. This margin of error has huge implications for any LBS company working at scale. For example, with more than 20 million records managed in the Placecast platform, these error rates indicate that at least 1.5M listings were incorrect - a significant amount of incorrect data for developers trying to deliver a consumer app that correctly sends people to places in the physical world.
With the strong initial interest, Placecast is now rolling out a developer portal in order to continue to provide free services for correcting duplication and matching across different location data sets, two of the biggest challenges in building location-based services that scale. The portal is live at http://www.placecast.net/developer/.
Today’s demand for clean location data is unprecedented and speaks to the major difficulty that the LBS industry is dealing with, which Placecast’s MatchAPI solves. “The industry is joining us in the belief that the solution does not lie in a single, central database, says Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman. “Every company must be able to maintain their own location data in whatever format they wish and be able to share it seamlessly with others when they want, on their terms, without needing a standard location reference scheme or ID system.”
How MatchAPI works:
Placecast MatchAPI resolves the two most challenging problems of working with large location-based data sets. First, it disambiguates addresses by identifying all of the different ways to express the address of a location and verifying that those differing expressions refer to the same place. Second, it maps all the relevant IDs from different content providers to that same place so that it is always referred to correctly by any other system. The system has already been pressure-tested for scale: the Placecast Match API has been in place for more than a year and has already processed more than 20 million location records worldwide.
For application developers who are aggregating professional and user-generated location content from several sources, the Placecast MatchAPI simplifies the process of de-duplicating and matching content listings - including business listings, reviews, check-ins, and events - to their true locations.
Developer reaction to Placecast’s MatchAPI has been overwhelmingly positive, and companies like AlikeList - a locally-focused social platform that enables friends to discover trusted local businesses - have been impressed with how quickly Placecast delivers results. "The Placecast Match API is just what the industry needs: a straightforward, accessible service that imposes order on the chaos of local listings management," says Tyler Bell, Director of Platform Technologies at AlikeList and formerly Director of the Geo Technologies Product team at Yahoo!. AlikeList is using the Placecast MatchAPI to resolve ambiguous local listings data as part of their service.
For content providers, Placecast MatchAPI streamlines the process of matching venues to their customers’ or suppliers' venue data; as such, it is a free marketing tool that makes developers aware of premium content for their locations. By exposing venue IDs to developers, providers can tap into new revenue streams by up-selling premium content and taking advantage of ad-based revenue models.
“We have been using the real-time APIs for the past few weeks to integrate different data sources with our constantly evolving location data set,” says Fraser Campbell, CEO of premium content provider WCities. “We’re impressed with the MatchAPI functionality and how easy it is to use—it’s freeing up resources for us to focus on other areas of our business.”
Currently, MatchAPI covers North American data sets only, with additional geographic coverage to follow. Placecast has wrapped the MatchAPI tools with documentation for both the UI and APIs and has created a community area for posting questions about the tools and the most vexing location data problems.
For more information, please visit: http://www.placecast.net/developer/
Placecast is the first location-based platform specifically designed to use digital marketing on mobile to drive consumers into physical environments.
Placecast’s ShopAlerts service has transformed the location-based industry, taking home the top prize for innovation given by the National Retail Federation knows as the 2010 RACie award, and demonstrating that mainstream brands like the North Face, Sonic, and American Eagle are embracing location-based mobile marketing. Placecast recently launched MatchAPI, a tool that enables providers and developers to refer to a location in any number of ways and validate that those references resolve to one true location on the planet. The company recently raised $8 million in Series B funding from Quatrex Capital and existing investors ONSET Ventures and Voyager Capital.
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