Developers working on building location-aware applications need two at least two things: a robust set of tools and quality geo-data.
A new strategic partnership announced today between two of the leading geo-data startups, Factual and SimpleGeo, will help with just that, as SimpleGeo will now be incorporating Factual's global places data into its Places API.
Factual's dataset contains more than 30 million places and local points of interest. The quantity of data is impressive, to be sure, but the key here is really the quality of that data. Factual has worked to "clean up" its location data and to standardize some of the naming conventions for the data fields. This is particularly important when it comes to handling data from multiple countries, for example, but questions of aggregating and normalizing data is a challenge that big data startups all face.
By making this partnership, SimpleGeo's CEO Jay Adelson says his company will be able to "focus on our core strengths" - its location-aware toolset that includes "Storage", its hosted database for location information and "Context," a tool that lets developers query for data relevant to a given location. The partnership will mean that SimpleGeo can continue to focus on the tools, while Factual will maintain the quality of the places data.
The timing of the announcement comes as interest in location-based technologies is rapidly expanding, and it's likely that both startups will benefit from a partnership that clearly delineates their areas of expertise. But developers too will benefit, says Factual CEO Gil Elbaz, as they'll have more support, better tools and better data.
It also means that geo-data now has, in Elbaz's words, a "sophisticated stack" upon which developers can build.