Centralized Places Data with Factual CrossWalk API
09 Aug 2011Factual just launched a new API that will centralize how physical places are represented within Factual data-sets, and across 3rd party APIs, dubbed the Factual Crosswalk API.
Data about physical places is notoriously messy, and with number of providers, and the growing value of location based data, its only going to get messier. Factual is aiming to normalize places data across the web by providing a central ID to link individual entries across multiple data providers.
Using the Factual Crosswalk API you can retrieve a place by providing its Factual ID or any associated URL, either way you get a complete record from the Factual database, and URLs to its associated IDs and locations. The Factual Crosswalk API can be used to link to data across the Internet, as well as cleaning and standardizing local data sets. Taking the lead in providing centralized storage and API for data-sets will help make Factual the goto place when looking for places data, and it will also make them a source when discovering multiple sources for places online.
The Factual Crosswalk API is free for now, and is only available in the United States, but they are looking to roll-out the service for 40+ countries in the near future. Factual has partnered with multiple data providers to create this centralized resource, and they are welcoming other providers to participate.