This is a quick heads-up to Factual developers and data partners to note that we will shortly be making significant changes to how our Global Places are categorized.
Our current categorization is based entirely on strings and does not use IDs; this makes queries cumbersome, locks us into a single language, and ossifies the classification system. All require fixing. We also received a large number of comments from our developers and partners in the last year on where the classification system can be improved, and we want to implement these. Lastly, we’re laying the groundwork for our move towards multi-categorization and a polyhierarchical taxonomy.
You’ll see this happen in May 2012. We’ll keep our old categories attached to a static copy of the data through October, so no code changes on your side will be required immediately. However, you’ll want to move over as soon as convenient to take advantage of the new categories and new Places. Above all else, our goal is to increase the power of classification while minimizing developer disturbance. We’ll provide more details here and on the developer list as we have them. In the interim, have a look at the new Factual taxonomy on Github.