BooRah, a restaurant review site we first reviewed earlier this year, just announced the availability of an API that will allow other web sites and business to offer online reviews and ratings from BooRah to their customers. The API will surface most of BooRah's data about a given restaurant, including ratings, menus, discounts, and coupons. BooRha also hopes that developers will implement this data in location aware applications through Mozilla's Geode and on the iPhone and Android platforms.
As we pointed out in our earlier review, one of BooRah's most interesting aspects is that it uses semantic analysis and natural language processing to aggregate reviews from food blogs. Because of this, BooRah can recognize praise and criticism in these reviews and then rates restaurants accordingly. BooRah also gathers reviews from Citysearch, Tripadvisor and other large review sites.
The first service to feature BooRah's data is Kosmix.com, a small semantic search engine that now prominently displays BooRah ratings and data for most restaurant related searches.
Yelp, BooRah's most direct competitor, also features a comprehensive set of APIs and developers have already made good use of it while developing mobile applications, especially on the iPhone. The availability of these APIs has given Yelp a clear boost in the past.
BooRah is playing catch-up here, but it does have enough features to differentiate itself from its competition and this API is a step in the right direction. The only feature that seems missing from the API to make it even more useful is the ability to send reviews to BooRah directly.