Apr 7, 2011

Xapi, NPI and Broken Polygon Report = new tools!

We’re very pleased to announce that more tools have been released today for the Open Developer Community! Here’s the cool new stuff:

- Xapi (pronounced ‘zappy’): This a read-only OpenStreetMap (OSM) extended API providing enhanced search and querying capability for nodes, ways, and relations where the results are returned in XML format. This Xapi tool will query the OSM data by searching on tags using name=value pairs (such as amenity=pub) or by bounding box of the area of interest or both. Here’s a sample URL that searches on pubs in the greater Denver area (click link to see XML output):

Xapi Simplified GUI

We’re using the Java Xapi version that Ian Dees developed earlier this year; our simplified UI is based on Emacsen‘s design currently used on OSM. The MapQuest page on Github is full of cool stuff, too: Xapi, Mapnik map style, Potlatch 2 Resources and more!

- Nominatim Pre-indexed Data Service (NPI) is a tool for developers that can export pre-indexed OSM data hosted on the MapQuest servers as an alternate database location. The Nominatim Planet data file is quite large – in the range of 15-20 GB or so – but using the MapQuest Nominatim pre-indexed data service allows developers to have their own instance of Nominatim for running complex queries on their own servers.

Having a pre-indexed file to start your Nominatim install will also speed up the installation process by as much as 75 – 90 percent! Any developer can take this pre-indexed file, start up their own Nominatim installation, hook it up to our pre-indexed updates to get an OSM Planet Nominatim version of “Minutely Mapnik” for search/geocodes (instead of map updates) with updates provided approximately every 5 minutes. Since this new system does all the indexing for you – it also reduces the CPU horsepower needed to run Nominatim in your development environment (i.e.: at home). Installation instructions are found here.

- Broken Polygon Report for Nominatim: When importing OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, Nominatim validates OSM polygons and then will discard polygons that it considers ‘broken’ during the import process. These ‘broken’ polygons could be where the interior of a multipolygon is disconnected or, where a polygon intersects itself. We’ve created a report of these broken polygons that provides a click-and-view list that any user can see and correct the polygon errors in JOSM or Potlatch 2.

Sample of a self-intersection: a broken polygon that needs fixing.

Feel free to let us know how these tools work for you – questions and comments are always welcome in our Open forums or on Twitter @MapQuestTech!

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