Geocoding is hard work, figuring out where exactly on this wobbly sphere a given humanly vague string might be referring to is just crazy.

Turns out there are a bunch of interesting things you can do without knowing a lot of detailed latitude, longitude stuff but instead just having an agreement that when I say “San Francisco”, and you say “San Francisco”, we’re talking about the one in California, and not somewhere else.

On Flickr we call these things “places”. (creative?) And as I mentioned on the Flickr API mailing list last week and in my early places blog post, places have “place ids”.

This post is just a quick note to the effect that as of this afternoon on top of getting place_ids back with (, and being able to round trip a place_id with the ( and ( you can now do a free form search for places with the new (