Feeds

Yahoo! puts webpages in their place

Lingua geographica

Business security measures using SSL

Yahoo! is offering developers a free online service that gives webpages a certain sense of place.

Today, the company unveiled a beta service it calls Placemaker. You give it blog posts, news articles, and other collections of web words, and it gives you metadata identifying specific geographical locations mentioned in these documents.

"We look for unstructured references to place, say the string 'New York City' or 'NYC' or 'The Big Apple,'" explains Tyler Bell, head of geo-technologies at Yahoo! "Then we do what we call a geo-disambiguation to resolve those to a specific place."

Yahoo! returns a unique identifier for that place, its longitude and latitude, how many times it was found, and exactly where it was found. But the onus is on you - the developer - to actually tag your pages with this metadata and build applications that take advantage of it. Using Yahoo!'s open API, you might shuttle a New York City story, for instance, straight to New York City residents.

What Placemaker doesn't do is semantic analysis, so its tags can tell you only so much. "We can't tell you that although a story was written in Jakarta, it's actually about Darfur," Bell continues. "We simply identify places and it's up the developer to apply rules on top of that."

Placemaker is underpinned by Yahoo! GeoPlanet, a kind of lingua franca for geographical metadata. Or as Bell calls it, a linga geographica. Today, Yahoo! also released GeoPlanet Data, a complete dictionary for this metalanguage. Released under the Creative Commons Attribution license, GeoPlanet Data includes unique identifiers for millions of place names in multiple languages and tags describing the relationships between places.

Yahoo!'s ongoing geo-technology obsession has also produced Fire Eagle, a GeoPlanet-speaking service that stores your personal location information so that websites and applications can readily make use of it. With your approval. Naturally. "We want to provide open tools and open frameworks to allow developers to create a geo-location-aware web," Bell says.

Beginning Thursday, you can access Placemaker here. Geoplanet Data is available here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.