Nothing spoils a good user experience in a location-based application faster than an inaccurate address input. Sometimes it’s a missing a digit, other times it’s a case of searching for a street with an unusual spelling (Iliff Avenue, anyone?). One of the biggest challenges your application faces is ensuring the search query is as accurate as possible.

Today, MapQuest is happy to announce the production release of our Search Ahead API, which allows access to our predictive search platform.  Whether it’s a full-fledged mapping application or a simple form in which users need to input addresses or location, Search Ahead provides a better experience by predicting what the user is intending to type, as they are typing.

What it is:

Search Ahead is our version of autocomplete, offering predictive matches to an address as a user is entering it into the search box. This “type along” feature helps ensure your user searches for 1060 W. Addison Ave, instead of 1060 W Adison Ave, thus returning the most accurate results and eliminating the need to re-search.

Who can benefit:

Literally everyone. Retail stores, restaurants, real estate, insurance, transportation -- Search Ahead gets you and your customers where you’re going, faster.

How it looks:

The Search Ahead API was designed to adhere to API design best practices and industry standards.  All location data is expressed in a geoJSON format, which is easy to integrate into geospatial applications.  This lightweight API also features a pre-assembled displayString, so that you can easily get this functionality up and running quickly.  Rest assured that the API also offers the individual components (properties) in the response, so you can assemble a customized display of results in your application.

What it provides:

Today, the Search Ahead API provides suggestions for addresses (example: 1060 W Addison Ave, Chicago, IL, 60613), adminareas (example: Chicago, Canada, 60613), and airports (example: Denver International Airport).

Where to learn more:

Search Ahead API documentation is available on the Developer Network.  If you don't already have an AppKey, click here to sign up and get started.