GeoPlanet is a computer platform for coordinating world-wide geographic information, and providing both text and cartographic output, such as digital maps for any location in the world. It provides a location infrastructure for search engines, portals and both Web and WAP sites. It was developed by GDC, a London based geographic information company, which was acquired by Whereonearth in 1998. When Whereonearth spun-off GDC in 2002, it kept GeoPlanet. When Yahoo! purchased Whereonearth in 2005, it acquired GeoPlanet.
An integral part of GeoPlanet is the WOEID (Where On Earth IDentifier), a unique 32-bit reference identifier, now assigned by Yahoo!, that identifies any feature on Earth. WOEID is used by a number of web applications, such as zWeather. GeoPlanet has a java library that provides access to the GeoPlanet API, including WOEIDs.
In addition to the strict numerical WOEID, GeoPlanet also has a hierarchical structure that allows accessing surrounding locations, and zooming up and down administrative divisions.
In 2009, Yahoo! released GeoPlanet's WOEID data to the public, but the last release was on 1 June 2012 after which Yahoo! decided to cease making the data downloadable until they determine a better way to surface the data as a part of the service.
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