Right alongside mobile and social, local is the area where developers are investing their energy and venture capitalists their dollars. Local, anything local, is big business and in the past year the development has only accelerated.
A recent example of this can be found at Yahoo!. The company's BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) just announced BOSS Geo, a new addition to its Search API comprised of two rather powerful geo-related services now available for BOSS developers.
PlaceFinder is a geo-coder service. The feature enables developers to convert an address into a latitude/longitude. PlaceFinder also works in reverse (aptly called a reverse geo-coder), changing lat-long coordinates into a physical address. Idea for check-in services, PlaceFinder currently powers popular applications including FourSquare.
The other geo-related service is Yahoo's PlaceSpotter API (formerly PlaceMaker) which now allows developers to add location awareness to content. Since most content has meaningful geographical information, using the API developers will be able to extract that rich data and provide another layer of meaningful geo-data on top of it. For example, read an article about one restaurant, and through the PlaceSpotter API, developers can recommend places in the same neighborhood.