Location-based Searching with Fwix - dummies

Location-based Searching with Fwix

By Aaron Strout, Mike Schneider, B. J. Emerson

Fwix is a geo-based search engine that combs the web to bring you a variety of information tied to locations, places and points of interest. The nice thing about Fwix is that you can start at the top and drill down deeper.

The Fwix layout looks a bit more like a social network than a search engine. It’s organized by content types and has several tabs to allow you to filter specific types of content:

  • News: News from the web.

  • Events: Nearby, upcoming happenings.

  • Photos: Public, geotagged photos from SmugMug and Flickr.

  • Updates: Geotagged status updates on Twitter (mostly).

  • Places: Fwix has created its own places database pages in partnership with Factual. The page has location information, hours, price (if it’s a restaurant), and more. Content is curated from sites like Trip Advisor. Related status updates and check-ins are posted from Twitter and Gowalla.

  • Trends: This shows the most popular keyword searches related to a location.

    Fwix pulls geotagged content for Austin, TX.
    Fwix pulls geotagged content for Austin, TX.

Advertisers have already gotten involved by featuring places within the results. Aside from being a search engine, it’s also a platform, which means you can use the application programming interface (API) to build your own applications using its functionality. Its platform is currently free.

The API allows you to filter places by popularity which is related to the amount of content and check-ins attached to the place over a given time. There currently is no rate limit, which means you can make as many calls to the API as you want. Many APIs limit the amount of data you can retrieve and the number of calls you can make in a given hour.

Fwix place page for the Salt Lick aggregates check-ins from Twitter.
Fwix place page for the Salt Lick aggregates check-ins from Twitter.