Category Archives: Places API

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.

Tags for all!

You asked for it and now you got it – an easy way to reference our taxonomy of tags.  I hope this will inspire you to do more and create more innovate apps on top of CityGrid APIs.  Using the taxonomy you can create dynamic applications, browse and breadcrumb functionalities and other rich ways to interact with local data and find more relevant Places for your users.

Our taxonomy is published daily in two formats: first as a list (available here) and second as a tree (available here).  Both are in json format.

Want more details? Check out our documentation on tags.

Linking Your Places Data to CityGrid Places via the API

I get approached by many web or mobile application owners who want to use CityGrid places to enhance their existing content.  For example you have a database of local veterinarian businesses and you would like to enhance this existing data with more business data like hours of operations, images, videos, maps, reviews and offers.

Per the CityGrid API usage requirements, publishers aren’t allowed to store CityGrid places data, and really you don’t want to–with the constant changing and volume of data, developers really want to make live API calls to get the best quality data.

However in the scenario where you want to link places in your database with CityGrid places, many publishers would like to store the CityGrid place ID in their local database–instead I recommend using the business phone number as the ID link between your local database and CityGrid.

The CityGrid Places Detail Search lets you search for business just by providing a phone number. So on every one of your places, all you need to link up with CityGrid places is the phone number. No need to store ID’s locally, the business phone number becomes the unique identifier in the system.

As data in the CityGrid network changes, including ID’s, you will always be able to link your sites or applications business listings with the rich places data available via CityGrid, with just the business phone number.