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Geocoding Web Service returning 400 error sometimes, sometimes not

Hi Kids,

Stumbling through ignorance here so please be gentle. I have a gizmo that constructs some simple URL's to feed to the Geocoding Web Service to return latitude and longitude from some subset of address fields. Seems to work fine for a while and then gags. Thought I might be hitting the daily limit but A) I'm not near the limit (I think...) of 5K; B) it's throwing a 400 instead of the "limit exceeded" message; and C) it will still work immediately afterwards.

So the error message says:
Most likely causes:
- There might be a typing error in the address.
- If you clicked on a link, it may be out of date.

Trouble is, if I take the URL and paste it into IE, and hit return once, maybe I get the error, maybe it works. Hit return again, another flip of the coin. Sometime in the next 2-5 tries it will work - same string, no editing. Also, this is happening anywhere in my list - it can fail and/or succeed on any of the 1500 records I'm submitting from one list of zips only or of the 500 records from another list of full addresses. I thought the computer was supposed to be reliable and I was the flakey one...

Anyway, here's an example of a string that fails-then-succeeds (minus my top-secret yahoo ID - I'm new, didn't know if flashing that was bad form or not).
"http://local.yahooapis.com/MapsService/V1/geocode?appid=YadaYada&city=Canby&zip=96015"

One last funny bit - it seems to gag more often immediately after gagging once. If I let it rest for 30 minutes or so, I can often then crank through another few hundred before it gags again.

Am I doing something stupid here? Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks

by
15 Replies
  • Hi,

    I'm getting the exact same thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't...

    I am using the geopy python module to process some addresses with the yahoo geocoder, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    It's crazy, and I'm completely clueless as i'm also a newbie in these matters. If you end up finding the cause please let me know.
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  • QUOTE (ricardofilipesoaressilva @ Apr 13 2009, 07:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Hi,

    I'm getting the exact same thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't...

    I am using the geopy python module to process some addresses with the yahoo geocoder, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    It's crazy, and I'm completely clueless as i'm also a newbie in these matters. If you end up finding the cause please let me know.


    I am also seeing this error this week. I have a tool to look up some addresses and I ran it yesterday and it came back with these bad responses after about 50-100 successful calls. After it started I could not make a call from any PC I tried from. Even the sample rest URL would not work. I tried it on 5 different machines at my company. After I waited about 30 minutes I was able to start again but it had a problem after about 15 address calls and knocked everything off again. I have run this tool about everyweek for about 2 months and it has always worked flawlessly until yesterday.

    Scott
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  • We are having the same problem right now :-(

    The geocoding sometimes return "limit exceeded", some other times (even after some seconds) returns correct coordinates. It's frustrating.
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  • ok since i have not heard more about this I'm guessing it is functional. I'm going to close out the bug this is associated with. If there are additional problems please post a new thread on this board so that it doesn't get lost in this mega thread.

    Thanks,
    Jon
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  • I haven't noticed any problems lately, I believe the problem has been solved.

    Thanks for your help!
    /jens

    QUOTE (Jon @ Apr 30 2009, 06:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    ok since i have not heard more about this I'm guessing it is functional. I'm going to close out the bug this is associated with. If there are additional problems please post a new thread on this board so that it doesn't get lost in this mega thread.

    Thanks,
    Jon
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  • Glad to hear it - thanks for posting back.

    - Jon

    QUOTE (jens.pettersson @ May 4 2009, 12:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I haven't noticed any problems lately, I believe the problem has been solved.

    Thanks for your help!
    /jens
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  • Same problem here with the difference that It always fails. Even the sample request at http://developer.yahoo.com/maps/rest/V1/ fails with the same error. This is critical we have clients using this service. Anyone got any clue?
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  • QUOTE (jens.pettersson @ Apr 16 2009, 03:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Same problem here with the difference that It always fails. Even the sample request at http://developer.yahoo.com/maps/rest/V1/ fails with the same error. This is critical we have clients using this service. Anyone got any clue?


    Yeah the actual message I am getting is <Error>The following errors were detected: <Message>unable to parse location</Message>
    </Error>

    Once this error occurs no one at my company can call the rest url for a GeoCode anymore. Not even the sample works. It usually takes about 30 minutes and then I can call the rest url again from a browser. It almost acts like Yahoo is blocking our IP address after a few minutes. Could that be it? Why would the do that?
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  • QUOTE (scottswann@... @ Apr 16 2009, 04:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Yeah the actual message I am getting is <Error>The following errors were detected: <Message>unable to parse location</Message>
    </Error>

    Once this error occurs no one at my company can call the rest url for a GeoCode anymore. Not even the sample works. It usually takes about 30 minutes and then I can call the rest url again from a browser. It almost acts like Yahoo is blocking our IP address after a few minutes. Could that be it? Why would the do that?


    Well maybe. I wonder if the error message would be the same if the IP was blocked? When I enter http://local.yahooapis.com/MapsService/V1/geocode? in a browser, I get the "invalid or missing appid" error which would hint that the service is still alive somehow.

    I'd like to add that this service has worked almost flawlessly for us until yesterday. One possible problem could be the rate limit but we are not even close to the 50000 hits per day according to our logs. Talking more against that is, lately we have had a little less traffic than usual and the error message should be different "limit exceeded". But maybe caching would be a good idea anyway to be less dependent of the service and decrease the load of the service.

    Please, if anyone comes up with a solution, let us know..
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  • Hi everyone,

    I created a test script that hits the geocode uri using the criteria provided and I'm not seeing the same data failure. Could someone please verify that the service is currently down as I am not able to re-produce this. If the service is currently down, could you provide the code snippet where the request is actually being made please? I'll run a few tests to see what we can come up with.

    Thanks.

    Jonathan LeBlanc
    Senior Software Engineer
    Yahoo! Developer Network
    Twitter: jcleblanc
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  • QUOTE (Jon @ Apr 16 2009, 06:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Hi everyone,

    I created a test script that hits the geocode uri using the criteria provided and I'm not seeing the same data failure. Could someone please verify that the service is currently down as I am not able to re-produce this. If the service is currently down, could you provide the code snippet where the request is actually being made please? I'll run a few tests to see what we can come up with.

    Thanks.

    Jonathan LeBlanc
    Senior Software Engineer
    Yahoo! Developer Network
    Twitter: jcleblanc


    Jonathan,
    Thanks for the help.

    I am using .NET(VB) To actually make the calls. I have a dataset I am looping thru which then builds the URI based on the actual addresses. The command I am using is --
    myReader = New XmlTextReader(url) ---(the url is the string I built from the address of the record)
    I am loading the xml return message into an xmldoc that looks like this and parsing the xml message ---
    xdoc.Load(myReader)

    -- After this error occurs I just use my Browser (IE, Chrome & Firefox) to try to call the web service and it will fail with the same error.
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  • QUOTE (Jon @ Apr 16 2009, 06:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Hi everyone,

    I created a test script that hits the geocode uri using the criteria provided and I'm not seeing the same data failure. Could someone please verify that the service is currently down as I am not able to re-produce this. If the service is currently down, could you provide the code snippet where the request is actually being made please? I'll run a few tests to see what we can come up with.

    Thanks.

    Jonathan LeBlanc
    Senior Software Engineer
    Yahoo! Developer Network
    Twitter: jcleblanc


    Hi Jonathan,

    We are using .net c#. Collecting the searchcritera from what the user has entered in the ui and then building the full url string.

    Which will end up looking something like this:
    "http://local.yahooapis.com/MapsService/V1/geocode?appid=OURKEY&location=street+city+se" (yahooGeoUrl)

    Calling the service:
    XmlReader reader = new XmlTextReader(yahooGeoUrl);
    XmlDocument xDoc = new XmlDocument();
    xDoc.Load(reader);

    Thanks!
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  • QUOTE (jens.pettersson @ Apr 17 2009, 12:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Hi Jonathan,

    We are using .net c#. Collecting the searchcritera from what the user has entered in the ui and then building the full url string.

    Which will end up looking something like this:
    "http://local.yahooapis.com/MapsService/V1/geocode?appid=OURKEY&location=street+city+se" (yahooGeoUrl)

    Calling the service:
    XmlReader reader = new XmlTextReader(yahooGeoUrl);
    XmlDocument xDoc = new XmlDocument();
    xDoc.Load(reader);

    Thanks!




    I got the same thing. It's the same set of addresses, same code. Yahoo must be doing something queer there. Come on, some one in Yahoo must have an answer for this.
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  • QUOTE (jens.pettersson @ Apr 17 2009, 12:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Hi Jonathan,

    We are using .net c#. Collecting the searchcritera from what the user has entered in the ui and then building the full url string.

    Which will end up looking something like this:
    "http://local.yahooapis.com/MapsService/V1/geocode?appid=OURKEY&location=street+city+se" (yahooGeoUrl)

    Calling the service:
    XmlReader reader = new XmlTextReader(yahooGeoUrl);
    XmlDocument xDoc = new XmlDocument();
    xDoc.Load(reader);

    Thanks!



    I'm getting the same error with a VBA - based tool doing essentially the same thing
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  • I've sent out an e-mail and filed a bug (#2698863 for your records) for this issue - I'll post back as soon as I hear more.

    - Jon

    QUOTE (jens.pettersson @ Apr 17 2009, 12:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Hi Jonathan,

    We are using .net c#. Collecting the searchcritera from what the user has entered in the ui and then building the full url string.

    Which will end up looking something like this:
    "http://local.yahooapis.com/MapsService/V1/geocode?appid=OURKEY&location=street+city+se" (yahooGeoUrl)

    Calling the service:
    XmlReader reader = new XmlTextReader(yahooGeoUrl);
    XmlDocument xDoc = new XmlDocument();
    xDoc.Load(reader);

    Thanks!
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  • Yes! It's working again. Tested again after the last post and the problem is gone. Wonder what happened?
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  • QUOTE (jens.pettersson @ Apr 16 2009, 07:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Yes! It's working again. Tested again after the last post and the problem is gone. Wonder what happened?


    I just tried mine and after about 200 address checks it gave the same unable to Parse with a http 400 error.
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  • QUOTE (scottswann@... @ Apr 16 2009, 07:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I just tried mine and after about 200 address checks it gave the same unable to Parse with a http 400 error.


    Well I went home and created a quick vb.net app to loop thru addresses and after about 350 calls the http 400 unable to parse location error came up. Now I am working off my home network and not my works. After getting the error I tried to call the rest uri from my Browser and it failed also. Yahoo must be blocking requests after a certain amount. I know my ip address isn't over the limit because I have not run a yahoo geocode api call in months from home.

    Again this started happening at work yesterday. It has been running fine for 3 months or more.
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  • Yep, the problem is back. And now it's working again. Guess we are having the 'flip of a coin' behaviour as the thread startar wrote about.
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  • Is this service discontinued?
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  • No - the service has not been discontinued. There was a rate limit issue that was causing an issue on an hourly basis, but that has been adjusted which should hopefully fix the problem most of you are experiencing. We know there is still an issue but this is being worked on currently. Can anyone here verify that they are still experiencing an issue?

    Thank you,
    Jon
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  • Thanks for your assistance Jon.

    We will do some more testing here to verify this. For the moment it's working fine.

    /Jens

    QUOTE (Jon @ Apr 23 2009, 01:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    No - the service has not been discontinued. There was a rate limit issue that was causing an issue on an hourly basis, but that has been adjusted which should hopefully fix the problem most of you are experiencing. We know there is still an issue but this is being worked on currently. Can anyone here verify that they are still experiencing an issue?

    Thank you,
    Jon
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  • I just tried mine and processed 300 lines fine but it is failing again with the 400 error.
    Any updates?
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  • I'm having the exact problem as above. It will run fine for a few hundred requests, then it gives me the error "unable to parse location" until I change my IP address. This doesn't work very well for my application, since I need it to be able a few short "bursts" of requests, but I'm nowhere close to the 5000/24hr limit. Let me know if this is something that can be resolved. Thanks
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  • We have run some more tests now. The problem came back after a few hundred requests. Now I've implemented cache functionality to decrease the load of the service, but I'm currently unable to test that because of the error.
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  • Thanks everyone - I'll file this information back into the bug. We're waiting on the rate limiting team to get back to us about the fix. The "bursts" of use that was described is the last problem area that we are trying to fix. I'll let you all know when there's more info.

    - Jon

    QUOTE (jens.pettersson @ Apr 24 2009, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    We have run some more tests now. The problem came back after a few hundred requests. Now I've implemented cache functionality to decrease the load of the service, but I'm currently unable to test that because of the error.
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  • Thank you for your patience everyone. I heard back that this bug should now be resolved. Can you please test again to conforim that? If not please let me know and I'll respond back to the engineer's.

    Jonathan LeBlanc
    Senior Software Engineer
    Yahoo! Developer Network
    Twitter: jcleblanc
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