Category Archives: Merchant

Merchant Verified Places

Sample “Verified” Icon

How do you know the information on local businesses provided is accurate?  We just added one more way for you and your users to know the info we’re providing is top-notch.  In our Places Detail API response, we provide a “claimed” element that lets you know if the merchant has verified their listing.

Beyond these places being flagged as “claimed”, they often also contain additional content. Local business owners can add images, a teaser, an offer, and external menu or reservation urls.  They can also customize how their name and address are displayed across the CityGrid network.  Merchants can claim their listings today on Citysearch.com, and in the future possibly from your own site or application.  The process involves phone-verification in order to minimize fraudulent claims.

Start using the “claimed” element today to show your users know the information they see is verified.

CityGrid Publisher Showcase: Merchant Reviews by The Emerald Curtain Studios

I’m spending the majority of my time lately getting to know all the CityGrid publishers, and understanding how they are building web and mobile applications using CityGrid Places, Reviews, Offers and Advertising APIs.

Today I want to showcase an innovative web development shop in Dallas, Texas called The Emerald Curtain Studio. Phillip Bryan of The Emerald Curtain Studio used the CityGrid Reviews API to write a WordPress plugin that embeds a merchants reviews into their WordPress driven websites.

An example of how The Emerald Curtain Studio implemented reviews for a merchant web site, is on the Zen Salon Centrum in Dallas, TX.   The business owners maintained their own CitySearch / CityGrid merchant profiles and wanted their reviews to show up on their business websites.

“I was able to develop the plugin without much trouble, and have used it in three sites so far. The online documentation was very helpful and I was able to develop my tools easily.” says Bryan of The Emerald Curtain Studio.

When you think of using CityGrid Places API, you often think of building nationwide or city local directories, but the usage by The Emerld Curtain Studio demonstrates there is a lot more you can do to provide web development services to existing CityGrid and CitySearch merchants providing added value to your existing services, and making their sites possess much richer content.

CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack: Verizon LocationKit API

I’m spending more time building, what I’ve dubbed the CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack, a list of APIs, platforms and tools that you can use in your local-mobile applications. Today I’m diving into Verizon’s LocationKit API which provides a unified library across platforms and devices that can be used to request location information.

Despite what you may think, the Verizon LocationKit API is not specific to Verizon devices, and supports a wide variety of Android, iOS, Blackberry and Brew MP devices. The LocationKit API supports two types of location requests:

  • Single Request – Usually requested to get local search information or to place the device on a map
  • Tracking Request – Used to show the position of the device on the map in real time or to navigate to a destination

LocationKit supports three different methods to obtain location information:

  • Standalone GPS (SGPS) uses the GPS chipset in devices that can obtain GPS information without network assistance
  • Cell ID uses the location of the cell the device is currently talking to provide a quick approximate location that can be used to obtain local information
  • Wi Fi ID uses the visible Wi-Fi networks that the device can see to obtain an approximate location that can be much more accurate than the Cell ID location

To obtain location information your application can request a single fix where the applications specifies how much time it is willing to give the hardware for obtaining the best possible location, or a multiple fix where your application requests a stream of fixes. When the desired request is submitted and a listener / callback is used to pass the information back to your host application.

The Verizon Mapkit API is a perfect addition to the CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack. Location is essential in all local, mobile, social applications and the Verizon LocationKit is a robust, easy to use library you can use in your native app development, and in conjunction with the Verizon Mapkit API you can provide real-time location and rich mapping to your mobile application users.