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​Introducing: Multi-Categorization and Hours of Operation

We have officially released Multiple Categories and the Hours of Operation attribute in our Global Places data!

Multiple Categories
Category_ids and category_labels can now support multiple values​. This makes ​perfect ​sense​,​ as there are many ​entities in the world that are more than one ​”​thing​”​ and can belong to multiple categories. Now, as a user you can expect more comprehensive results when you search US data by category (since places are no longer left out of one category simply because they already belong to another). You can also easily find places that fall into multiple categories- such as hotels that are also casinos.

Take the famous Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, as an example. In the past, this entity used to be categorized as [Travel,Lodging,Hotels and Motels], which is accurate, and yet not a complete representation of reality. In the new, improved world, this place is categorized as both a Hotel ([ Travel,Lodging,Hotels and Motels​])​ and a Casino​ ([Social,Entertainment,Casinos and Gaming​]), which​ is a more accurate reflection of reality. It also means that you can find this entity whether you search ​for “Hotel” or for “Casino.” ​Better yet, it is also categorized as a ​”​Landmark”​ and will pop up with that search query ​as well.

Another great example is the Piano Bar in Hollywood, which serves both food and alcohol, and used to be categorized as [Social,Bars]. That categorization is accurate, but it did mean that if you looked for places to eat in Hollywood, you might miss out on experiencing the Piano Bar. Now that we have released our new category_labels that supports multiple values, you won’t be missing out on this place. You can search for either “Restaurants” or “Bars,” and will find this place among the results.

Multiple Categories is currently supported in the United States only and will roll out to the rest of the world by late August.

Hours of Operation
While you explore our location data, you will also notice a new attribute: Hours of Operation. Hours of Operation provides machine-friendly JSON containing the hours of operation of the business. We also have the Hours Display attribute, which provides the same information in a more human-readable format.

hours:

"{"monday":[["6:30","23:00"]],"tuesday":[["6:30","23:00"]],"wednesday":[["6:30","23:00"]],"thursday":[["6:30","23:00"]],"friday":[["6:30","23:00"]],"saturday":[["8:00","23:00"]],"sunday":[["8:00","23:00"]]}"

hours_display:

"Mon-Fri 6:30 AM-11:00 PM; Sat-Sun 8:00 AM-11:00 PM"

This means that when, on an early morning, you find yourself in Paris looking for a bakery at 7:45 am, you will not only know that Coquelicot is not ready to serve yet, but Le Grenier à Pain has had its doors already open for fifteen minutes and has freshly baked croissants waiting for you.

Hours of Operation and Hours Display are available globally. Coverage varies by country, but it will grow over time.

We are really excited about these new features and more will be coming soon. You can access this via our API, and, if you don’t have an API key, you can get one here.

- Shabnam Shademan, Data Engineer

Global Places provides comprehensive local business and point of interest data
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