So we finished up a new Production push to the MapQuest Web Services early this morning. I've blogged about most of the items included in the update as they've gone to beta, so hopefully I can make this a quick post and go home to get some sleep. Pre-dawn production roll-outs can be very draining - after a while coffee no longer has an effect, the early morning donuts are all gone, the cold grey light of dawn gives way to a harsh glaring sun, and any attempt to look at a computer monitor induces tunnel vision. Anyway, enough of the pain, and on to the pleasure!
Static Map Wizard
We've added a new interactive application to the Static Map Service that will build your static map image URL for you. You can add multiple locations and a route to a draggable map, turn on traffic, and use pan & zoom controls to set up your initial map view. Clicking on a POI lets you pick a different icon to use, or drag the POI around to reposition it. Then you can choose the size of the image, and the image file format you want, as well as a few other options, such as turning on declutter, or best-fitting the map around the POIs you've placed on it. As you change the interactive map, we keep the preview static map image updated, and provide a nice, easy copy 'n' paste URL for the image you have set up.
Static Map Wizard Using the Static Map Wizard, you can use an interactive map to define your places and map view, and we'll generate the static map image URL for you.
Search Service
Fortunately I've already written three posts on this one, so I can point you to those posts and savour my last donut while you read my previous pearls of wisdom. Well, maybe I should give a recap in honour of the production launch. Let's see if I can type a summary while holding my breath. You can do radius, rectangle, polygon, and corridor searches, as well as searching by driving or walking time or distance. You can tell us your search parameters using (variously) lat/lng pairs, IP Addresses, street addresses, or OGC Simple Features. You can search against MapQuest-provided data sets, against your own uploaded data sets, against data you pass down the wire as part of the search request, against the actual map vector data, or against any combination of all of the above. You can filter on fields in the data to narrow down your results, ask for full data on individual records, get results back in JSON, XML, or KML, as well as break the results down into multiple pages to avoid receiving all the results at once.
More details on the service can be found in Search Service Part 1 - How to Search, Search Service Part 2 - What can I search? and Search Service Part 3 - Other cool twiddly bits.
The Developer Network also contains more information and links to the Search Service Forum.
If you haven't tried any of our new services and SDKs yet, you can sign up for an appKey here. Stay tuned...more to follow soon.