Yahoo PlaceFinder and PlaceSpotter are two addtions to the BOSS family of API products. Below you will find the updated descriptions of the two features and how to use them to create a richer experience for your users.


Yahoo PlaceFinder is a RESTful Web service that supports world-wide geocoding of street addresses, points of interest (POI), airports, and place names. The service also supports world wide reverse geocoding of latitude/longitudes to addresses.

PlaceFinder supports POI’s such as schools, shopping malls, museums, and transit stations. Supported place names include counties, states, countries, and continents.

To access the PlaceFinder Web service, call HTTP GET on the base URI, specifying the input location with one or more URI parameters. The response from PlaceFinder contains geographic data, including latitude and longitude, as well as address information such as street, state, and country. (See Examples.)

PlaceFinder supports the following type of queries:

  • Single-line address: An address contained in a single field. The Web service parses the address data and return the best match.
  • Multi-line address: An address contained in up to three boxes. The Web service combines the address data and then processes it like a single-line address query.
  • Fully parsed address: An address with each component (street, city, etc.) is in a separate field. The Web service does not parse the address, so it is less likely to interpret the address incorrectly, such as mistaking a street name for a city name.
  • Point of Interest (POI), Area of Interest (AOI): Places not identified by mailing addresses, such as parks and monuments.
  • Airport codes: The three-letter airport codes you may have seen printed on your luggage tags.
  • Where On Earth ID (WOEID): A unique permanent identifier of a location.
  • Coordinates: The latitude and longitude of a location. Sometimes called reverse geocoding, this feature enables applications to get the address nearest to the specified coordinates.


Yahoo PlaceSpotter is a geoparsing web service that provides third-party developers the means to “geo-enrich” content at scale. The service identifies, “disambiguates” the data, and “extracts” places from unstructured and structured textual content: web pages, RSS (and Atom) feeds, news articles, blog posts, ad tiles and creatives, and status updates. It is an open API that assists developers in creating local and location aware applications and datasets. PlaceSpotter is not a geocoder, but rather a geo-enrichment service that assists developers in determining the ‘whereness’ of unstructured and atomic content, making the Internet more location-aware.

PlaceSpotter recognizes place names in plain text documents and text elements within HTML and XML documents. It also understands geography-rich tags, such as the W3C Basic Geo Vocabulary, and HTML microformats, such as geo and adr (see and for more information about these microformats).