Interactive Places API Comparison for CityGrid, Google and Yelp

One of the most common questions I get from new CityGrid developers is how do we size up against the other Places Data APIs in the space. This is not just important to publishers, but to us here at CityGrid in helping us understand what other providers offer and how we size up.

To start the process of comparing places data APIs, I wrote an overview of 11 places data APIs. This gave me a basic understanding of what each offers, but I quickly realized I was going to actually start hacking against each of the APIs, to really understand the differences.

So I started a tool for comparing:

If you have API keys for all three providers, your welcome to use. But remember it is a work in progress and it is only running on a micro AWS linux instance, so be patient.  It won’t work at all unless you put your keys in, and it doesn’t save them….so keep them handy as you made need to enter again.

The Interactive Places API Comparison tool allows you to perform two types of searches:

  • Where Search
  • Latitude / Longitude Search

Each search makes live calls to each of the three APIs, and I plan on adding Factual and Foursquare and eventually maybe Fwix and YP. Right now it just returns the business names for each search, based upon the default sort order from each provider. You can adjust the radius, but that is it for now.

I’m adding in the ability for it to pull details for each business and build a summary report of each provider which will include number of listings, compared listings, number of reviews, images and offers. There is no data stored, it only gathers summary data and displays results.

The Interactive Places API Comparison tool is meant to help us understand what type of data is provided by each of the places data APIs, and help us understand the coverage each provider has. There is a lot of understanding I’ve taken away so far, and will try to share this here in blog posts, as well as continue making the tool more usable by any developer wishing to understand the Places API space.

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