I’m working on building business directories for specific cities on my Hyp3rL0cal project. I really needed a database of cities in the United States, rather than manually entering them as I am targeting each city.
I’m sure there are a lot of places I can go to find a list of cities, I wrote a harvest script for Wikipedia last time I needed this. This time I found an easy CSV download of US cities over at the Google Adwords API.
The US Cities CSV download has cities broken down by state, and provides metro name, code and the state abbreviation, and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Using the CSV I was able to quickly import into MySQL as well make a JSON representation for use in some of my projects that don’t use a database back-end.
I’m adding the Google Adwords API, US City CSV to my list of valuable datasets that CityGrid publishers can use in their web and mobile applications. Let me know if there are other datasets that you need, and I’ll see what I can do to find them.
Over the holidays I developed a series of local directory prototypes that use the CityGrid APIs called Hyp3rL0cal. Hyp3rL0cal is my playground where I build code samples, prototypes and hackathon tools built around places, offers, reviews and other location, local, social and mobile apps.
So far my local directory prototype uses three APIs:
I have a simple, but pretty robust local directory and I have yet to create a database. I’m able to perform searches on businesses, display listings and details pages without ever reading or writing to a database.
The CityGrid API is responsive enough that my web application can make calls in real-time, and display results without a database. I like this new API driven world we live in, one where I can build data driven web applications, without the traditional overhead of managing a MySQL or SQL Server database.
Beyond managing the database, I don’t have to manage the data they contain. I can have high quality data in my application, without having to manage the data myself.
After 20+ years of data curation, I’m ready for this new paradigm, a world where I’m left to build a high quality web or mobile app, and leave the hard work of data and database management to someone else!