So nice to get some good news out of Yahoo for once. The continued disintegration of its directory is making me mighty depressed. Anyway, Yahoo announced yesterday the public release of Yahoo! PlaceFinder, a REST Web service providing geocoding of named places.
It supports building-level address recognition in 75 countries, and points of interest for the same 75 countries and the rest of the world. PlaceFinder lives at http://developer.yahoo.com/geo/placefinder/. You’ll need an application ID and you’ll be limited to 50,000 requests per day. (You can contact Yahoo if you think you’re gonna beat that.)
Being a REST service, everything goes into the URL fairly simply. You can request something as specific as an exact address or alterately a point of interest (POI) name — like an airport location code. Responses are available in XML, JSON, or serialized PHP. Possible response information includes latitude and longitude, postal code, neighborhood name, country code, time zone, and area code. You can get complete documentation here.
Have you tried PlaceFinder? What did you think? Leave a note in the comments.