One small snippet for anyone working with Google Base. They've opened up the restrictions on the g:location tag. You can now put in any location string that returns a single location in So "postcode, country" is perfectly acceptable and works. They also have a format for lat,long[1].

I'm still getting errors from Google about "too much activity" but it seems that this is a limitation of the management pages and not the underlying database. I'm successfully uploading Ecademy's Marketplace listings daily.

If you're doing a regular upload, you need to post a bulk file by hand first. Then use FTP to relace the same filename periodically. Something that's desperately needed for bulk uploaders is an incremental load. At the moment, you have to post your entire database as old items from old copies of the file are deleted when you put up a new bulk file. The fact that they take RSS/Atom as a data transfer format means we should be able to get to the point where we register a feed and then use a ping technique to tell Google it's changed.

Sadly, Google are ignoring the PubDate tag. All items get the date from the bulk file date. This screws up the listings when you view "by date".

I still don't understand the need for a g:label tag when RSS already has Category and we're using it successfully to tell other services about tags on an item.

I think the user interface to Google Base still needs lots of work. Several of the fields look like they ought to be clickable but aren't. And it's not always clear what's going to happen when you click on a tag label.

[1]A note here. Google has a very powerful Geocoder in their String to Lat,Long conversion. I wish they would provide an API to this.

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[ 16-Dec-05 11:20am ] [ , ]