MapQuest Developer Blog

  • MapQuest is now proud to offer SocialRadar's highly accurate authenticated location data through the PlaceKit solution. Learn about how this dataset's precision helps debunk some of the most significant problems facing POIs today through a joint webinar.

    Join us Tuesday, December 13, 2016 from 10:00am - 10:45am MT or Thursday, December 15, 2016 from 10:00am - 10:45am MT to learn about how to get your hands on the latest technology.

    Webinar meeting details:

    - Audio Dial In #: 703-265-6000
    - MeetingID: 8864035
    - Webinar URL: https://aol.webex.com/meet/lcolston15

    Add to your calendar:

    Save the Date - December 13, 2016 at 9:00am PST
    Save the Date - December 15, 2016 at 9:00am PST

  • We're thrilled to announce our recent acquisition of SocialRadar, a cutting edge location and mapping company.

    SocialRadar provides the industry's most accurate POI dataset by providing the exact latitude and longitude of every business storefront and entry point. Using street level imagery, algorithmic automation and human verification, this dataset's precision helps debunk some of the most significant problems facing POIs today. MapQuest is proud to offer this highly accurate authenticated location data through SocialRadar's PlaceKit solution.

    MapQuest customers now benefit from:

    • Precise POI placement. PlaceKit provides the most accurate and complete business listings including the store location, placement of doors, business footprint polygon and more for POIs across the US. Better data = better user experience, better targeted marketing and more accurate analytics around visitation
    • Flawless directions. No matter how your customers travel, our augmented POI data makes for unbeatable directions, getting your customers to your front door faster.
    • Quicker answers. With the industry's most accurate POI database, search results will be more reliable than ever. This future initiative is set to kick off in 2017.

    Check out how MapQuest's POIs from SocialRadar now stack up against a few other POI providers:



    To learn more about how to access this new POI data, contact us at sales@mapquest.com.

  • This year, MapQuest has been lucky enough to participate in many nationally recognized hackathons, as both sponsors and judges. As Product Manager for our Developer Services team, I took some notes throughout each hackathon to find consistent themes across winning teams. Here's how to win:

    1. The best demo wins, nothing else really matters

    Winning teams build a one- to two-minute demo that runs properly and shows original ideas and value to the end user. They carefully build and practice the demo while they are developing the application. Throughout judging, we saw many teams spend too much time on long introductions or unnecessary technical details, leaving little or no time for the actual demo; it's best to simply state the use case, explain the technology used and launch into the demo.

    Pro-tip: memorize and time the presentation several times during the night as the application changes.

    Judges and audience members tend to be biased toward pretty and modern user interfaces. If an ugly or confusing user interface masks great technology, then no one will be able to look past the rough edges.

    2. The demo must be real

    Code must run, and no screenshots or conceptual bits are allowed. Many hackathons require that your code be posted on the official hackathon website for review. Yet even if your code is not posted somewhere, the judges will usually take a peek at what's going on behind the scenes. Faking a demo is about the worst crime you can commit in the developer community.

    3. Form a strong team early

    You should spend most of your time at the beginning of the hackathon building a strong team. Form a consensus on the big issues. Everyone should agree on a development ecosystem and decide how to divvy up the work from there. Will you use agile techniques? Which tools you will use? Make early design decisions around the look and feel for the demo. Remember that for a time constrained project like a hackathon, "the perfect is the enemy of the good."

    4. Watch the clock

    Have some checkpoints throughout the hackathon. If you feel you are behind schedule, start pulling features out. Remember: everyone on the team should be sharing the workload – a lone superstar is not very effective for hackathons. Remind your team that you will need more time than you imagine to practice and polish the demo.

    5. Zig when others zag

    Each hackathon will have a few extremely popular technologies that most teams will focus on (robots, voice response units, drones, etc.). We suggest picking a less popular technical focus or combining a couple of technologies. At larger events, judges can review up to 150 demos – your goal is to stand out and stand out well. You need to be different to be remembered.

    6. Leverage the sponsors

    Most hackathons have prizes for the best overall demo, as well as prizes for using specific sponsor vendor applications, tools or services. It's okay to combine some sponsor apps to double or triple your chances. You might even win two prizes! Be sure to hang out with the sponsor's technical teams. Not only can they help you understand their APIs hardware or documentation, but they may also suggest clever use cases for their technologies. Take advantage of their help! Check back during the night to see if you are on the right track. If you get to know the sponsors they will remember you during the judging and may root for you!

    7. Don't let other surrounding technology overshadow your solution

    If your solution involves compelling new technology (i.e. robots or drones), keep in mind that most people in the audience will fixate on the new hardware, especially if they have never seen it before. If you must work with flashy technology make sure your demo is the star, not the hardware. Conversely, if you are building hardware, try to clean up loose wires and connections to make it look more like a finished product.

    8. It's not all about winning

    Hackathons are inspiring and competitive, but remember: you don't have to win to have fun. Take the time to network, meet new people and explore new technologies. A one-minute demo in front of your peers and a panel of judges is a great way to learn how to be persuasive, get your point across and prove yourself within the industry. You'll need all those skills at your future startup!

    MapQuest is a proud guest technology partner at the Denver Broncos Tackle STEM Colorado All-Stars Hackathon this weekend, November 18-20. We will be opening up our APIs and SDKs, answering questions, mentoring teams, handing out tons of free swag and giving away an awesome best-selling, Wi-Fi camera drone for each team member of the winning MapQuest team. It's not too late to register – sign up here!

  • To ensure MapQuest services are never disrupted after exceeding your plan's monthly transaction limit, we have recently launched our overages feature for those with more than 15,000 transactions per month.

    Just like overtime minutes on mobile phone plans, overages allow you to continue adding additional transactions to your monthly limit without lapse in service. After you've reached 100% of your transactions, you'll be billed in 10% increments. Opt in to overages and no longer have your monthly transaction limit lingering over your head.

    Tell me more.

    • We'll notify you in advance. You'll receive emails when you're approaching your monthly limit, once you've reached your limit, and when you go into overages in 10% increments.
    • You'll be charged 10% at a time. After each 10% increment, you'll be invoiced and the credit card on file will be charged.
    • It's all done for you. After 150% of your monthly transaction limit, we'll upgrade you to the next tier. If you're on the Business Enhanced or Business Enhanced Plus plan, a MapQuest account representative will reach out to you directly.
    • You'll be worry-free. During busy times or rapid growth, overages help you control stress by allowing you to use as many transactions as you'd like.

    Want to get started? Follow these steps to opt in to overages today:

    1. Log in to your account.
    2. Access the "My Plan" tab.
    3. Under "My Plan," click on "opt in or out of overages."
    4. Toggle "Yes" on Allow overages.
    5. Read and agree to the plan overages terms & conditions. Hit continue.
    6. Success! Your account is now on the overages plan.

    Please feel free to reach out via our forum or email us at developer-services@mapquest.com if you have any questions regarding MapQuest's overages feature.
















  • As a local company headquartered in Denver, MapQuest strives to be involved with the tech industry as much as possible. We also strongly believe in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education amongst the up and coming developer generation.

    So when we heard about the Denver Broncos Tackle STEM Colorado All-Stars Hackathon, put on in partnership by our friends at SendGrid & FullContact, we knew we had to be involved! We are ecstatic to be a guest technology partner at the event, taking place at the Mile High Stadium on November 18-20, 2016.

    During the 36-hour hackathon, we will be opening up our APIs and SDKs for participating students and technology whizzes. MapQuest's top developers and thought leaders will be on-hand, answering questions and helping make projects rock.

    We will also be giving away loads of cool swag – t-shirts, stickers and coffee, oh my! And, we're ponying up best-selling, Wi-Fi camera drones for each member of the top team using our products.

    If you are a university student or tech enthusiast that would love to get involved with this hackathon, head over to our Denver Broncos Hackathon page. From there, you can study up on our APIs and SDKs, sign up for a free account and/or register for the event.

    We hope to see you all there!

  • As part of MapQuest's continuing effort to improve our products and services, we will be updating the backend infrastructure of our Data Manager API during the previously scheduled November 8, 2016, maintenance window. Thus, the Data Manager API will be unavailable for a period of time.

    In order to keep your tables in sync with the Search API and move all data, the process is expected to take 8 hours. In order to best accommodate, the extended maintenance window on the Data Manager API will begin at 10 pm EST on November 7, 2016 and conclude at 6 am EST on November 8, 2016.

    The Search API will remain usable during this period with data upload to Data Manager before the change. However, data from unfinished uploads prior to the scheduled update will not be moved to the new backend.

    Please feel free to reach out to our support team with any questions at support@mapquest.com.





  • We're not letting any grass grow under our feet here at MapQuest. New features are being added left and right, and our Search Ahead API is the latest service to benefit.

    Our most recent Improvements to POI and address queries provide faster and more comprehensive results, helping to enhance your customer's overall search experience. Specific enhancements include:

    • Improved support for pre-directionals in address queries.
      • Example: 16536 W 14th Pl or 16536 West 14th Pl will provide the same suggestion regardless of whether the query specifics 'W' or 'West.'
    • POI and location suggestions are both returned for queries that include the name of a POI and the city or city, state.
      • Example: 'Starbucks Denver or 'Starbucks Denver CO' will surface Starbucks locations in Denver, CO
    • The revision of our location biasing strategy for address queries. Address suggestions that are farther away from a user's specified location are surfaced more quickly than before.
    • 'Id' and 'name' fields have been added to suggestions surfaced from the address and adminArea collection.
    • 'Id' field have been added to suggestions surfaced from the POI collection*.

    Still holding out from trying MapQuest's Search Ahead API? Learn more about our predictive search API by visiting our product and documentation pages.

    *Please note, our POI collection is currently available to Enterprise Edition clients as a premium data add-on to the Enterprise Edition license.

  • 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 our Product team and asked what they wish users knew about our Directions API.

    Avoid problematic roads

    Construction season is everyone's least favorite season -- lane closures, detours, it's all just the worst. MapQuest's directions API allows you to specify -- down to the specific road -- places to avoid when determining a route. Avoid that rush hour snarl on the road that's under heavy construction, avoid crossing bridges, avoid toll roads; Directions API allows you to get down in the weeds and customize your route.

    Customize your narrative

    Route narratives are a given. When we plot from point A to point B, we expect to see helpful phrases such as "Turn left on Arapahoe Road." Directions API allows you to customize that narrative to make something unique. Utilize the HTML feature to style the narrative with a custom CSS. Create an enhanced format that lets users know "If you see the movie theater, you've gone too far." Make your narrative stand out, while still being as clear and concise as expected.

    Wherever "local" takes you

    Did you know our narrative has language support? It does! With support for any ISO 639 language, your application can deliver a narrative that's spot-on in English, French, Spanish, German, and more.

    Control your points

    Every January, the National Western Stock Show takes over downtown Denver. Several main thoroughfares are blocked off so that prize-winning cattle, horses and sheep can parade through the town. It's delightful, but it also means that traffic is an absolute nightmare in the downtown area. Why are we telling you this? Because with Directions API, you can utilize Control Points, which allow you to submit a lat/lng pair for an area and push your route away from (or toward) that specific area. This means in January you could set your control point to downtown Denver, and tell the application to push any and all routes away from that point. Yes, you miss out seeing the prize-winning alpaca trotting through the Financial District, but you also get to your destination faster and more efficiently. Sorry, llama.

    Calculate your gas usage

    Do you have drivers? You probably know that Directions API is great for mileage reimbursement, but did you know it can help you calculate your fuel usage, too? Set your vehicle's MPG, and your drivers' driving style (cautious, normal or aggressive) and know, before they set out on a cross-state route, how much gas they can expect to use. That's pretty handy.

    All that's missing is you

    For more information, check out our our Directions API documentation.
  • We're excited to share MapQuest’s Static Map v5 API is now in beta. As a current user of Static Map v4 API, we invite you to give the new beta a whirl. Please test it out through Friday, December 31, 2016 and report feedback to us through our forum.

    What new features are included in Static Map v5 API?

    • Retina maps with four times as many pixels for high-resolution images for printing or displaying on any device.

    • Additional map styles including light, dark, satellite and hybrid.

    • The ability to add and customize banners on your map.

    • Enhanced icons that can be modified to match your style or branding.

    • Simplified and more efficient commands resulting in shorter URLs.

    Where is the documentation?

    What’s the new endpoint?

    Please note, transactions generated while testing our new Static Map v5 API beta will count towards your monthly or annual transaction limit.

    Thanks in advance for participating in the beta and we look forward to receiving your feedback.
  • MapQuest.com is turning pink for the month of October. But that’s not all. We’re putting our money where our routes are with Maps for Mammos. MapQuest.com is used by +42 million users* a month, and this new initiative is meant to inspire our consumer users to dedicate a route using our website. We're reaching out to our clients and developer community to help get the word out and to encourage participation.
    MQ_BreastCancer_Awareness_Campaign
    Did you know that every two minutes a woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer and one out of every eight women in America is personally affected?
    For every trip shared and dedicated for Maps for Mammos on MapQuest's consumer website (MapQuest.com) in the month of October, MapQuest will make a donation to Young Survival Coalition (YSC) with a maximum donation of $50,000. We’re asking our clients and developer community to help MapQuest support breast cancer by joining the nearly 16 million miles that have been dedicated thus far on the consumer MapQuest.com website. Click here to learn more on how to create, dedicate and share your route on MapQuest.com. Thanks for supporting #MQMapsforMammos