Yahoo! Placemaker Geotagging Integration in Managing News


2 min read

We just added support for Yahoo! Placemaker’s geo-recognition service to Managing News. This is an optional replacement for the default place-term lookup feature and can be enabled and configured in the administration section of Managing News. For those new to automatic geotagging services, Placemaker is a free API that leverages Yahoo’s GeoPlanet location database to identify where in the world a particular piece of content is relevant.

Here is a look at Managing News using Placemaker to tag content in Chinese:

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There are a few reasons we wanted to do this. The first is that we’ve been working on multilingual versions of Managing News and found that the core geotagger is not able to correctly identify word breaks in languages like Chinese and Arabic. The Placemaker API is able to receive and parse content in 21 languages and return place names in the language you request. This flexibility greatly extends the accessibility of Managing News to non-English users.

Second, it’s not always easy to find a list of location terms with latitude and longitude for the places for which we want to track news. Will White has a great post about customizing maps on Managing News, but we wanted to make it even easier for end-users to download the software and get going.

To get set up using Placemaker geotagging with Managing News check out the DRUPAL-6–1 branch of the Managing News profile on The included makefile will let you build all the necessary components from source. This feature will be included in the next release of the project from, but we wanted to let folks who couldn’t wait access it now.

Once Managing News is installed, you’ll see a new section in the site information page that lets you enable Placemaker, add the required Yahoo API key, and enter the language code (RFC 4646) for your content and desired place names, if you want your geo-tags in a language other than English.

Here’s a look at the administrative interface:

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By default Managing News will still use the location lookup we’ve been working with since launching in October. We’ve found that for most use cases this is still faster, more reliable, and a better targeted approach. But because the Placemaker API adds such great flexibility to the system, we wanted to make that option available to users as well.

What we're doing.