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Matthew Wright edited this page Mar 29, 2023 · 25 revisions

Welcome to the youtube-geofind wiki!

How does this app work?

The YouTube API search endpoint provides location and radius parameters. The map and other inputs in this application make it easy to set and visualize the location coordinates and area radius that you want.

However, the initial search call isn't enough as it doesn't tell you the coordinates of each video. Additional calls are made to the videos endpoint requesting recordingDetails which has the coordinate and location data that is displayed in the map.

How is this different from YouTube's own location search?

The existing search in YouTube's interface allows you to search by location but...

  • You must know the location name first, it goes in the keywords field, which also means you can't have any keywords while searching a point.
  • There are often points that don't display in Google Maps that are invisibly there unless you search for it so it would be very difficult to find some videos without knowing the location name.
  • There is no radius and functions as though it isn't using one. The results are only for videos on that specific location name and nothing nearby or within.
  • Only has set timeframe options Last hour, Today, This week, This month, This year

YouTube Geofind allows you to...

  • Search anywhere without knowing the name of the place first, simply move the location marker to the desired location.
  • Location input is separate from the keywords so you can filter location results.
  • Provides a radius so you can find videos at variable scale.
  • Visualize all the location results in a map.
  • Provides more timeframe options and even has a very customizable after/before custom date and time option so you can search anytime in the past.
  • Export all the results as CSV and JSON.

How accurate are the location values returned?

It is important to note and as far as I know, the location on a video must be manually set via the YouTube Studio and they do not come from exif location tags. The location must be a valid location with a name that you can find in Google Maps. The name of that location will be the displayed locationDescription.

However, there are cases where the locationDescription is missing. I do not know for sure but I believe that they may have been valid Maps locations that no longer exist so now only display coordinates. It may also be possible for some programs that integrate with YouTube to set these automatically though I am not aware of any currently. It is unlikely though as the API to set these fields has been deprecated since 2017.

It is also important to note that the coordinates do not necessarily mean that exact position. The location may be at almost any scale, an actual address or point of interest, street, road, town, city, zip code, state, country, and so on... almost anything that is valid in Google Maps. While they appear to have a specific coordinate it is more likely set for the generalized area. For example, a video that is set to 40.7830603, -73.9712488 ≡ Manhattan is most likely not at the particular building where the Manhattan marker is located but in reference to somewhere in the entire Manahattan area as visualized in Google Maps.

The returned location names may also be any valid name for a particular location be that the language of the person specifying the location or alternate name. For example, these are all the same in reference to United States.

37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ United States
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ USA
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ Соединенные Штаты Америки
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ États-Unis
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ Hoa Kỳ
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ Amerika Serikat
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ الولايات المتحدة
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ Yhdysvallat
37.09024, -95.712891 ≡ សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក

Does this cost anything to run?

The application itself is hosted on GitHub Pages which is free and there is no cost for using the YouTube API. However, there is cost in the mapping and geocoding services used. For ~5 years, I have been using Google Maps until the application was abused causing me ~$1400 in unexpected Google Maps API billing. Since April 2023, this application is now using Mapbox as the primary mapping and geocoding service which should be significantly cheaper.

You may donate if you'd like to:

Google Maps prior to switching to Mapbox: