Two tech titans, Google and Yahoo!, announced exciting new products for creating location-based content on digital platforms at the Where 2.0 tech conference in San Jose this week.
Taj Campbell from the Google Geo Developers Blog made the official Web announcement of the new Google Maps Data API on Wednesday, saying:
“Notably, the Google Maps API and other tools have led to the creation of more dynamic and interactive content, putting new demands on the ways in which geodata is stored, accessed, indexed and rendered. To address these challenges, today we’ve released the Google Maps Data API in Labs, a Google Data API for viewing, storing and updating geodata on the Web.”
Not to be outdone, Yahoo! announced at the conference that it is developing a new tool called “Placemaker,” which examines Web content and figures out the “whereness” of it.
ReadWriteWeb’s Frederic Lardinois reported on the Where 2.0 conference Placemaker announcement, saying:
“While this might seem like a simple task at first (just look for references to ‘San Francisco’ or ‘New York City’), Placemaker actually uses very sophisticated analytics to disambiguate which of the 39 Springfields in the U.S. a text actually refers to. To do so, Placemaker, will, for example, also look for colloquial names for bridges or references to streets and local sights in a text.
“As many texts obviously contain references to more than one place, Placemaker will often return more than one location per text, though it will try to determine the location. While Placemaker’s database covers the globe and will work for texts in 21 different languages (including texts using double-byte character sets in Japanese, Korean and Traditional Chinese), it will — at least in this first iteration — work best for texts in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.”
Both tools have great potential for news organizations to geo-target their content and advertise — especially as the number of mobile Web users with GPS-capable phones continues to grow exponentially.