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We have important news to share about Algolia Places. After careful consideration, we have come to the decision to sunset our Places feature. Our customers will be able to continue to use Places without disruption for the next 18 months, as we want to make sure there is adequate time to find an alternative. However, we will no longer actively invest in the feature.

Originally created in 2014, Algolia Places was a great alternative to Google Places Autocomplete and addressed a market demand for an alternative to the search giant’s offering. Address search is a complex and difficult problem to solve, but our search engine was uniquely capable of solving it and Algolia Places was built as a fast, beautiful, and easy-to-use address autocomplete.

Despite our success with Algolia Places, it came with challenges. Specifically, Places was built with reliance on OpenSteetMap, which is maintained by an open source community. Combined with the fact that mapping the world is a never ending task, this meant that the feature was limited, depending on the country it was searching, especially when trying to include street level accuracy.

At Algolia, we strive to always deliver stellar quality on our products. After a tough and honest assessment of the feature, we realized that Places was not meeting our own bar for the quality we pride ourselves in. We conducted a full analysis of the requirements necessary to address Places shortcomings, and given the existence of better solutions in the market, we came to the difficult decision that it was best to focus our efforts in other product areas. This decision will allow us to invest and move with greater velocity in Algolia key product competencies such as Algolia AI (Algolia AI Fall ‘20 Webinar).

If you are a Places customer, from the entire Algolia team, we’d like to apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We’re committed to making the transition as smooth as possible and that’s why we’ll continue to support Places until May 31st 2022. To help get you started, we provided some potential alternatives:

  1. Mapbox
  2. Google Places
  3. Geocode Earth

Please don’t hesitate to contact our support team if you run into transition issues, we’ll do our best to help. Thank you for being a part of the Algolia community.

About the author
Jon Hellam

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