No one at MapQuest is more passionate about our APIs than our fantastic Product Managers. They know their products inside and out, backward and forward; in fact, you might call them a little evangelical. Each month, we sit down with one of our PMs to discuss what they wish our users knew about our APIs.

This month, we sat down with Senior Product Manager, Jonathan Harahush, and asked him what he wishes users knew about our Search Ahead API.

Autocomplete and Type Ahead

For those of you wondering “What is Search Ahead, anyway,” it is, quite simply, our version of type-ahead, autocomplete searching. As users enter their query, Search Ahead utilizes our powerful, predictive backend search prowess to return relevant suggestions.

Modern response

The API was designed to adhere to the latest API design standards. It also embraces GeoJSON as the standard for expressing location data, which integrates well with other geospatial libraries, like Leaflet. We provide just enough information about each suggestion in a lightweight manner, so it’s easy to get up and running.

The right amount of data

Search Ahead returns data in a variety of collections — think of them as “buckets” of data — which represent certain categories (e.g. addresses, admin areas, airports, etc.). You can choose whether or not you want to use all of the collections, or just some. For example, maybe your application is used to find airports. Choose just the airport collection to ensure your users’ queries return Denver International Airport, instead of Denver, CO or Denver Garage Door Experts.

Location, location, location

Sometimes you need a little location relevancy bias in your Search Ahead search results, and sometimes you don’t. Search Ahead lets you choose whether or not to submit a user’s location, thus returning location-relevant data. The choice is yours.

Customization for days

The Search Ahead API returns responses in a complete or piecemeal format, providing endless customization options for display within your application. Do you want to bold the street address? Italicize the city? Display the result as two or three lines? The preassembled string response, or individual pieces enable you to customize as much or little as you want.

All that’s missing is you

For more information, check out our Search Ahead API documentation.

About the Author

Technical Writer | Developer Services

Previous Articles

We at MapQuest consider our APIs to be the cornerstone of any solid, location-based application, and we pride ourselves on helping you deliver the best experience for your users. Whether you’re routing trucks, delivering food, managing sales territories, or providing directions, we have you covered. But how well do you know our APIs? You might…

Read More

In the next few weeks, summer will be winding down and your calendars will start looking more and more like a Tetris board. We, here at MapQuest, are no exception. So before the madness ascends, we thought we’d take a second to fill you in about some of our upcoming adventures. We think they’re pretty…

Read More

On Thursday, September 1, MapQuest will release an update to our Directions API V1 and V2 and your application may be impacted. The release for MapQuest Directions API V1 and V2 includes bug fixes to our alternate route response, eliminate a duplicate route bug and remove the ability for closed roads to be returned in…

Read More

MapQuest is committed to delivering cutting-edge solutions to our customers by leveraging the most updated technology. As a result, we’re transitioning our foundational structure to the cloud and with this transition comes updates to our current offerings. On Monday, July 11, 2016, our direct tile access to MapQuest legacy maps will be discontinued. After Monday,…

Read More

Additional MapQuest account information will soon be available at your fingertips! New features are being added over the next month to the Enterprise account management portal, helping you better manage your account and keep a pulse on your transaction usage. Previously, the number of transactions during a given time and the type of APIs and…

Read More

On August 25th, 2016 MapQuest released a new feature – the ability to add additional transactions to monthly self-service plans. It’s exactly like overtime minutes for your mobile phone plan. If you opt into the Overages plan (the default choice for new customers) your transactions never stop, even when you reach 100% of your monthly…

Read More

Earlier this summer, we were thrilled to tell you about our new Search Ahead API, as part of our product suite. This predictive search feature autocompletes addresses as users type, offering suggestions based on the input. We promised it would get better, and today, we’re pleased to announce the addition of POI data. Most users’…

Read More

Chances are you’ve heard a few things about our geocode quality codes. You’ve probably heard that they are some of the most granular in the mapping business, but you might be wondering what that means. How can a quality code, granular or not,  help your business? First, what is a quality code? A quality code,…

Read More

MapQuest maps are getting a shiny new look. The good news? You don’t have to do anything! The even better news? Our newly styled maps will elevate the overall experience and interactions your users have with the maps on your site or within your app. Over the next month, we’re transitioning to a new, modern…

Read More

Follow @MapQuestTech on Twitter

MapQuest DevBlog RSS

Want to stay updated on all the latest advances? Subscribe to our blog feed and be among the first to receive the news!