Urban Mapping, a very interesting company working on making mapping data more accurate, has released its API. This will essentially allow any local search site to better index local listings and improve its search functionality.
As we’ve mentioned in the past, Urban Mapping’s core product is used by most portal mapping providers to index mapping data with the anticipation of the colloquial terms searchers might use (i.e., “near caltrain station,” “Southie,” etc.). The company has also branched out by providing this neighborhood data as a valuable tool for search marketers to use in the process of keyword generation for geotargeting.
The company is moving in lots of directions, utilizing its core neighborhood data generation. This is a key competitive differentiator that is, first of all, highly valuable for local search as searchers are getting more and more sophisticated with search terms, and second, not being done to this degree by anyone else.
This API release is the latest move, and its success will simply be a function of what companies do with it and the traction it receives from local search companies. Some will surely find interesting applications, and the key point is that apps could develop that might not have been envisioned by Ian White and company.
That’s the exciting part. Meanwhile the technology will get more exposure through this distribution. Expect to see more of Urban Mapping in ’08.