SimpleGeo to Offer Flat-rate Plans for Developers

SimpleGeo, which provides a platform for developers to create location-aware applications, will move to flat-rate plans later this month and just made its free set of data from 63 countries downloadable.

SimpleGeo plans will be priced at $9, $49 and $79 per month. Total API calls, records stored and API rate limits will vary depending on the tier; the company has not yet released details. All plans will offer a 60-day free trial. Those who provide payment information at sign-up will get an additional 30 days free.

SimpleGeo made the pricing change because many users expressed nervousness about the unexpected nature of call-based pricing.

“Worrying about pricing is the sort of thing that could stop someone from exploring new ideas,” VP of Product Jeffrey Kalmikoff tells LAUNCH. “Based upon that, it’s (flat tier pricing) a much more predictable pricing model that allows people to chose what they feel is most appropriate for their app.”

SimpleGeo expects this new pricing model will ease its efforts to launch products and services that are not call-based, in addition to enabling collaboration with third-party development platforms.

“You’re either using it or not,” Jeffrey says in regards to non call-based services. “It made sense for those sorts of services to have a flat pricing model because otherwise we’d have to be supporting other pricing models.”

SimpleGeo is currently in talks with Heroku, a cloud application platform, and Appcelerator, a platform and services company.

“Our interest is getting as many developers to use our products,” Jeffrey says. “That interest is not inherently tied to using them directly from our API. We looked at those partnerships and integrations as a way to leverage the tens of thousands of developers and aggregates across those two platforms.”

Within the next few weeks, SimpleGeo expects to release Factual data through its Places API. That partnership will make available 17M U.S. POIs (points of interest) and POI data from 44 additional countries.

In April, SimpleGeo made its places data available for free on its servers under the Creative Commons Zero license. The data set, now available as a free download, includes more than 21M POIs.

“The download was always the plan,” Jeffrey says. “We originally were curating our own places data set. Once we made a decision to focus on being a services company, we didn’t want to just take all those POIs we had and just let them die. The best thing to do with it is basically release those POIs.”

SimpleGeo is committed to sharing open-source code and is prepared to let developers do what they will with the data, whether that’s creating derivative works or even a similar competitive service, Jeffrey says.

More than 15,000 developers use the platform, double the number from six months ago. Apps that use SimpleGeo’s tools include Posterous, SoundTracking and HeyTell.