Knowing where users are is a pretty fundamental part of a location-based social app's business, but too often it's too hard for players to pinpoint exactly what venue they're checking into.
As ridiculous as that sounds, a quick visit to a Starbucks outlet in any major city highlights just how tricky the check-in business can be.
Any number of nearby outlets for the same chain of store, coffee shop or business can pop up in the LBS's database, making knowledge of which particular branch users happen to be in crucial lest they let the app check you into the wrong one.
Wish you were here
Mobile marketing firm Placecast may be able to clear up the confusion, however. The firm today announced it has made its Match API available to developers for free.
Placecast specialises in developing software that enables businesses to send mobile adverts to customers passing by their stores. As such, it claims its service has "unparalleled relevancy tied to place and time" - a tool scores of LBS apps could clearly make use of.
Open for business
According to the company , the Placecast Match API resolves the two main problems LBS apps are currently encountering.
"First, it disambiguates addresses - identifying all of the different ways to express the address of a location, and verifying that those different expressions refer to the same place," the company says on its website.
"Second, it maps all the relevant IDs from different content providers to that same place, so that it is always referred to correctly by any other system."
As reported by VentureBeat, numerous location-based services have agreed to test trial the API, and mobile app Buzzd is already on board.
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.
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