Yahoo’s Build Your Own Search Service (BOSS) has recently expanded to include geolocation data from two Yahoo services: Placefinder and Placespotter. BOSS is Yahoo’s Search API, available for a fee based on usage. From the blog post, it sounds like Yahoo is closing down Placefinder and Placespotter as standalone, free services, and is incorporating them into the paid structure of BOSS.
- Placefinder provides geocoding and reverse geocoding, which enables developers to convert an address to its latitude/longitude or vise versa.
- Placespotter provides related location information
Yahoo BOSS originally launched in 2008 as a free service to spur innovation in the search space, but has been through numerous changes as the state of the Yahoo search itself has changed. I asked Yahoo how the current service differed from Bing Search API offerings, since their web index now powers Yahoo search. A Yahoo spokersperson told me that web and image search are from the Bing index, but that:
“All other services are provided by Yahoo’s own index or backend technology for respective services (e.g. blog, news, geo). BOSS has evolved beyond what has been considered traditional search. BOSS is a broader set of commercial services for developers that includes search. BOSS offers developers with ways to monetize their offerings by taking Y! sponsored search advertising and generating a revenue share. In addition, we offer broad commercial terms and strong support.”