MapQuest Developer Blog

Archives for Josh Babetski

  • AOL Tour Tracker

    AOL Music just launched a great site called Tour Tracker. It allows you to see when and where your favorite bands are playing and shows coming to a town near you.

    They also just happen to have some really cool interactive maps built on the same MapQuest Platform that you use, specifically the JavaScript API. How about that?

    Go over and check it out while I get some tickets to go see the Foo Fighters.

  • New Feature: Printable Maps!

    You can now print MapQuest maps!

    "Well duh," you're probably thinking. "I've been printing MapQuest maps and driving directions for years."

    Well of course you have. MapQuest.com generates millions-and-millions of maps specifically for printing every day. What I'm talking about here is printing from the applications you're making using the Free Edition of the MapQuest Platform.

    "I couldn't do that before?"

    That was a little unclear in our old Terms and Conditions. Some observant developers asked about it, and we said "Why not?" We wound up drawing straws to see who had to ask Legal for the revisions. I lost. So I took the ask up the cliffside, knocked on the iron plated door, dropped the paperwork and ran.

    So here's the deal for printing with the Free Edition:

    • You can print up to 5000 copies of a map per run/publication
    • The printed map can be up to a maximum of 8.5" x 11" inches printed
    • It has to be a free publication (flyer, newsletter, etc); you can't use it in a publication you're charging for

    Just another example of how we're working with developers and responding to your needs.

    Happy Printing!

  • Beta Gone Bye-Bye

    With the 5.3 release of the MapQuest Platform, we've now deactivated the beta versions (until the next version is ready for beta of course). If you were using the 5.3 beta versions, here's some quick tips to keep your application running smoothly:

    Take the following <script> tag for example:
    <script src="http://btilelog.beta.mapquest.com/tilelog/transaction? transaction=script&key=<YOUR_KEY_HERE>&itk=true&v=5.3.0_RCx" type="text/javascript"></script>
    • You need to change "&v=5.3.0_RCx" to "&v=5.3.0," "x" being the Release Candidate number you were using
    • If you were pointing to the beta servers "http://btilelog.beta.mapquest.com," you need to point back to the production servers: "http://btilelog.access.mapquest.com"

    These simple steps will help keep your development from grinding to a halt -- like in a traffic jam. Since real-time traffic is also one of the new features in 5.3, you can help keep your users from actually winding up in a real traffic jam.

  • MapQuest Platform 5.3 Released

    We are pleased to announce the release of version 5.3 of the MapQuest Platform! This update focuses on enhancements to our 3 client-side APIs: JavaScript, AS3, and FUJAX.

    Some of the big changes include:

    • Collections: Support for multiple and remote collections (KML and GeoRSS); easier handling of shape collections
    • Custom Tile Layer support
    • Add real-time traffic to your map
    • Globe view enhancements
    • All 3rd party JavaScript libraries removed (decreases JS footprint)

    For the server-side APIs, .NET works with 2.0 and 3.5 on 32 and 64-bit; C++ now has been upgraded to support Visual Studio 2008 and 32 and 64-bit libraries are available.

    Here's the full list of release notes:

    New Features: General — All Languages

    • ShapeCollections To make it easier to handle multiple shape collections on the map, MQA.ShapeCollection and MQW.ShapeCollection (FUJAX) replaces both PoiCollection and OverlayCollection. POIs and overlays now go into the same collection. Adding, removing, replacing, and appending include new methods.
    • Custom Tile Layers Custom tile layers can now be added to maps.
    • Multiple Collections Multiple shape collections can now be added to the map. A collection can include POIs and Overlays. Once a collection is attached to the map, adding shapes to and/or removing shapes from the collection will be automatically reflected on the map. Decluttering can also be done by collection.
    • Remote Collections KML and GeoRSS support has been built into the Platform. When creating a RemoteCollection, all you need to do is tell it the location of the feed and its format, and the RemoteCollection will be displayed on the map.
    • Minimum and Maximum Zoom Levels on POIs Minimum and maximum zoom levels can be set on any POI. The POI would then be visible on the map only between the set zoom levels.
    • Retrieving an item by key A shape (POI or overlay) can now be retrieved from the map or any collection by its key.
    • Reference to parent collection A reference to the shape's (POI or overlay) parent collection can be returned.

    JavaScript and AS3 (ActionScript™ 3) Only

    • Traffic Flow, Incidents, and Market Data Traffic information can now be displayed on the map in the form of market data, incident data (construction, incidents, events), and a traffic flow overlay.

    AS3 and FUJAX Only

    • Globe View Globe view has been upgraded to include the following enhancements:
      • Spins on all axis
      • Setting the number of triangles to adjust for performance
      • Smooth zoom animations
      • Overlays & route highlights
      • Map rotation setting

    JavaScript and FUJAX Only

    • 3rd Party Libraries All 3rd party libraries have been removed from the API (Prototype and Dojo)

    JavaScript

    • MQA Namespacing The Tilemap toolkit portion of the API has been namespaced to MQA and all MQ leading characters have been removed. For example, it would now be MQA.Tilemap instead of MQTilemap.
    • MQMapIcon The MQMapIcon is now MQA.Icon and is purely an interface, taking the image URL and the setup values in the constructor. For example: myIcon = new MQA.Icon(imageURL, width, height, offsetX, offsetY);
    • POIs & Overlays Overhaul These are both now extended off of the same base object and their getters & setters have changed. Examples:
      myPoi.setValue(propertyNameAsString, valueObject);
      returnedValue = myPoi.getValue(NameAsString);
      • A .setValues(); method exists that takes literal notation to set as many properties at once as you want. Refer to the documentation for a complete list of property names and examples.
      • Existing getters and setters will still function, but are deprecated. Effort should be made to convert these to the new methods.
    • Drop Shadow A visual drop-shadow graphic has been added to the map and can be turned on by calling map.setMapShadowState(Boolean). The shadow is off by default.

    FUJAX

    • MQW Namespacing The FUJAX Tilemap toolkit portion of the API has been namespaced to MQW and all MQ leading characters have been removed. For example, it would now be: MQW.Tilemap instead of MQTilemap.

    Supported Environments

    JavaScript

    • Windows
      • Internet Explorer 6.0 and above
      • Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and above
    • Macintosh
      • Firefox 2.0 and above
      • Safari 3.0 and above

    Adobe® ActionScript™

    • Flash player: version 9,0,115 or greater
    • AS3 SWCs: all environments
    • Flex2 Components: Adobe® Flex™ Builder™ 2
    • CS3 Components: Adobe® Creative Suite® 3 (CS3) Flash

    Updates

    • .NET
      • The library has been renamed to mapquest20.dll to reflect that this is for .NET 2.0 and above only. It has also been tested with the 2.0 and 3.5 frameworks and in both 32-bit and 64-bit environments.
    • C++
      • Windows support has been upgraded to Visual Studio 2008
      • Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the libraries now exist
  • 5.3rc5 Release for JavaScript and FUJAX APIs

    As we get closer to the final release of version 5.3 of the MapQuest Platform, we've just added Release Candidate 5 of our JavaScript and FUJAX APIs to the Beta page.

    The highlight in this release is the ability to define specific packages to be included in the code. With all of the new features we've been adding to the Platform, we recognized the need to optimize the size of your download with only the code necessary for your application.

    From the RC5 notes:

    If you want your application to have a traffic control, you can specify to include this package via the '&ipkg=controls1,traffic' URL name/value pair. However, if your application does not need the traffic control, simply use '&ipkg=controls1' and you'll save about 12k of download. This concept will be used going forward in order to optimize download sizes/speed.

    NOTE: We have separated out the map controls as a modular package - if you are using our default controls (Zoom Control, View Control, etc), you will want '&ipkg=controls1' on the string. If you are using fully customized map controls, you can now eliminate ours from the script download.

    The "ipkg" parameter

    controls1 - will bring down all 4 controls (largezoom, zoom, pan, and view).
    traffic - will bring down the traffic package. For example:

    • &ipkg=controls1 - will bring down just the controls package
    • &ipkg=traffic - will bring down just the traffic package
    • &ipkg=controls1,traffic - will bring down both the controls and traffic packages
    • &ipkg=controls1,traffic,package1,etc. - will bring down all packages listed by commas

    Also a reminder: If your a Free Edition developer, you will also need to sign-up for a Developer License for developing with MapQuest Platform Beta code.