Chapter 8. FAQ

PlaceFinder FAQ

  1. Why are the results slightly different between the BOSS PlaceFinder and original PlaceFinder service?

    Yahoo! BOSS Geo is using a new, improved backend which provides a higher precision of results. As a consequence the results from BOSS PlaceFinder can be different in certain cases.

  2. What is PlaceFinder?

    PlaceFinder is a geocoding web service. It accepts input in various formats, including street addresses and place names, and return geographic coordinates for matching places. These coordinates can be used to define the center of a map, or mark a location on a map.

  3. How is PlaceFinder different from the existing Geocoding API?

    PlaceFinder is a global geocoder. It supports street-level geocoding in over 75 countries, and place geocoding around the world. PlaceFinder also provides a reverse geocoding feature that allows developers to find the nearest address or city for a geographic coordinate, and a startswith feature that allows developers to find cities whose names begin with the same letters. Results include centerline and offset geographic coordinates; formatted and parsee address information; ISO codes for countries, states, and counties; address quality; area radius; place WOEID and type. Optional results include nearest commercial airport, telephone area code, timezone code, bounding box, detailed street name components, nearest cross streets, and containing neighorhood(s). PlaceFinder also returns results in over 10 languages (when available) to enable the development of localized applications.

    PlaceFinder also supports the JSON format for results in addition to XML and Serialized PHP formats.

  4. What countries does PlaceFinder support for street-level geocoding?

    PlaceFinder supports street-level geocoding in over 75 countries in six continents (sorry, Antarctica), including United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Russia, India, Taiwan, Middle East, South Africa. Click here for an up-to-date list of supported countries.

  5. What languages does PlaceFinder support?

    PlaceFinder currently supports 10 languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Korean.

  6. What is a WOEID?

    A WOEID is a unique permanent identifier for a named place. A WOEID allows developers to distinguish Paris, France from Paris, Texas without using text comparison. WOEIDs never change and are supported by numerous Yahoo! web services, such as Flickr and Weather. WOEIDs are not assigned to buildings unless they have a well-known name (such as Empire State Building or Tower of London).

  7. What is free form input?

    Free form input is address information that is represented in a single line. Mailing addresses that normally require multiple lines are concatenated, using whitespace or punctuation to separate each line. Supported punctuation include commas, colons, semicolons, and slashes.

  8. What is multi-line input?

    Multi-line input is address information that is represented using multiple lines. Mailing addresses that normally require multiple lines can easily be passed as separate parameters.

  9. What is parsed input?

    Parsed input is address information that has been parsed into separate components, such as house/building number, street name, city, state. As a convenience, the street name component may include a house/building number.

  10. What are points of interest (POIs) and areas of interest (AOIs)?

    A point of interest (POI) is a place that is not normally identified by a mailing address and has a small geographic footprint. Schools, museums, and monuments are represented as points of interest. An area of interest (AOI) is a place that is not normally identified by a mailing address and has a large geographic footprint. Parks, lakes, and seas are represented as areas of interest.

  11. What is address quality?

    Address quality is a measure of the value of a returned result. It defines the granularity of the location returned and indicates how the result was obtained. It is an integer between 0 and 99 with higher values indicating finer granularity.

  12. Why are there two parameters containing flags?

    The flags parameter contains flags that affect how the results are presented (e.g. JSON format) or filtered (e.g. Timezone). Using these flags will not affect which results are returned or the service response time (latency). The gflags parameter contains flags that alter the way geocoding is performed (e.g. exact matches only) or require additional processing time (e.g. nearest cross streets). Using these flags may return different results and increase the service response time (latency).

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