Thursday, June 30, 2005


Yahoo maps API

As well as Google, Yahoo have also launched a mapping API. Whilst the Google API has it's fair share of problems, the Yahoo API is quite simple - it's such a shame that the service is such a poor one, so as to make the API a non starter as far as I'm concerned.

Jeffrey McManus (who works at Yahoo) has a 7 point list as to why he thinks the Yahoo API is better than Google's, which comes down to this:
  1. The Yahoo map is hosted on Yahoo - so this means that you can't integrate it into your site - what good is that?
  2. Yahoo allows unlimited maps to be served up - whereas Google have a limit of 50K per day per page - that seems very generous to me
  3. {juvenile name calling}
  4. Yahoo allows US street addresses as well as the Lat/Long that Google uses - but Google's maps are worldwide, whereas Yahoo is limited to the USA only
  5. {repeat of juvenile humour}
  6. Yahoo have lots of other API's for other types of data - agreed - I'm a big fan of their other API's (which pass back data you can then serve up presented as you want), but that only serves to show how poor the Yahoo mapping API is
  7. Yahoo uses modified RSS to specify points to show on the map - agreed this is currently simpler than Google's arrangement
So by my reckoning, there are 2 strikes against the Yahoo API here - the maps can't be embedded, and are USA only, with only the simplicity factor in their favour. I really can't see many people wanting to use this API at all.

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