MapQuest Developer Blog

  • 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
  • We spend a lot of time talking about our geocoding API and our quality codes. We've mentioned they can help you save time and money, but did you know they can also help you make better business decisions? With MapQuest, rest assured your drivers get to and from a location with ease, all through the power of quality codes.

    Let's say you own a restaurant or a store that delivers orders or merchandise to your customers. Your customers might be scattered throughout the city, from well-known streets and avenues to new suburban neighborhoods. Few things are worse for a delivery business than lost time because a delivery driver can't locate an address. MapQuest's quality codes ensure your drivers leave the store knowing they won't get lost or end up turning down side streets in the hopes of finding a building. You determine the level of quality code you're comfortable with, knowing the API will provide you with the information needed to make a better business decision.

    Let's assume that you will only deliver to anything with A's or B's in the quality code result. In practice, the customer enters their address, which makes a call to the API. The API returns a quality code and your system can determine, based off the quality code, whether or not the address is one to which you will deliver. MapQuest Quality Codes

    Example: The customer enters 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613, which returns a L1AAA quality code. The API decides that's an acceptable quality code and the customer is able to process their order for delivery. Your delivery driver finds the location without any problem, and everyone goes home happy.

    On the other hand, maybe a customer enters their address as 2345 Martin, Dallas, TX 78215 (instead of 2345 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Dallas, TX 75215), which returns a L1CAC. You've told the system that C's are undesirable, and the user is prompted to choose the correct address, or told they must pick up their product at the nearest store. No more calling customers to break the bad news, no more trying to decipher whether the customer fat-fingered the zip code, no more wondering if they meant to enter Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd -- that is all in the past.

    The best part is that it’s up to you and your team to determine which quality codes are and are not acceptable. This cuts down on lost time for drivers, and wait time for customers. Better systems, better experience, all with quality codes.

    Want to learn more about quality codes? For a detailed breakdown of our quality codes, please see this blog post. Visit our Geocoding documentation to learn how you can get started with MapQuest's Geocoding API.

  • Good data is the backbone of any location-based service or application. When building your application, you may find yourself waffling between licensed data versus open data. Your biggest question is probably “which one is right for my application?” The answer depends on your user experience.

    Data defined

    Licensed Data is, as the name implies, data compiled from a number of our commercial data providers. This data is updated quarterly and verified by our vendors, ensuring accuracy and reliability. Open data, provided primarily by the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community, is crowdsourced data compiled by a global community of map fanatics. Just how dedicated is the OSM community to having good data? During their punfully titled Mappy Hours, users gather to scope out streets, trails/walking paths/biking paths, places of interest (POIs), and landmarks.

    Defining your data needs

    Do you need POI data and locations marked everywhere from New York City, to Dinosaur, Colorado? If your business takes you to every corner of the country, licensed data provides a more reliably thorough scope. Also, with regular, quarterly updates, you can be sure that all places great and small are reviewed, verified and updated with a regular cadence. OSM has strong data in urban areas, especially in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc, and it’s constantly being updated. If you want your users to be able to contribute updates and edits that can be shared with the greater OSM community, open is for you.

    Defining your business

    Are you interested in our Extended Rights Geocoding (ERG) to store your geocodes in a database as well as a map? Currently, ERG is only available to licensed data customers. For more information about ERG, click here.

    The Small Print

    There are some rules involved with the use of Open data. Namely, due legal requirements from both our licensed data partners and Open Source Initiative, you cannot cross the open and licensed streams. Whichever data stream you choose, that is the one to which you are committed. For more information about open data, please see our Open APIs documentation.
  • To help improve the performance and availability of our API services, MapQuest is moving to a cloud-based infrastructure. As part of this move we are retiring several older legacy services that are no longer widely used. This includes the Xapi API service.

    On October 31, 2016 we’re retiring the Xapi open API service. This is an older OpenStreetMap open source API that is no longer supported in the open source community, and we recommend anyone still using Xapi move to the open source Overpass API service. MapQuest does not offer the Overpass API, check the OpenStreetMap wiki below for sources.

    The Overpass API includes a powerful query language with with a much more robust feature set compared to the former Xapi based tools. Also, the Overpass API provides a compatibility layer that allows a smooth transition from Xapi.

    For details on XAPI and Overpass view the OpenStreetMap wiki entry on Xapi and the Overpass wiki entry.