MapQuest Developer Blog

Archives for Josh Babetski

  • JavaScript API Updated to 5.2.1

    This morning we released an update to our JavaScript API. Version 5.2.1 uses DOJO 1.0.2, which fixes a bug in the original DOJO 0.9.0 GFX library that could cause line overlays to "jump" at certain zoom levels. If you do not use overlays in the 5.2 version of the JavaScript API, you do not need to make any changes.

    To update, simply change the version parameter to "v=5.2.1":
    <script src=" transaction?
    transaction=script&key=YOUR_KEY_HERE&ipr=true&itk=true& v=5.2.1" type="text/javascript"></script>

  • South By Southwest 2008 Recap

    Thank you Austin!

    We just got back from a great couple of days at SXSW Interactive where we announced our new MapQuest Platform: Free Edition.

    It was great to talk with developers and that people were excited to see us doing our part to rock Austin, TX. We also got to make a lot of new friends at the show and other events around town. We showed off a bunch of demos in the booth and in case you missed your flight or otherwise wanted to check them out further, you can currently find them here: MapQuest Platform: SXSW Demos. You can download the code samples to help you get started on your own applications from that page as well.

    SXSW Demo Screenshot

    We also would like to thank everyone at SXSW Interactive, all of the organizers and sponsors of the SXSW Geeks Love Bowling Event and of course everyone who came by to talk to us. We appreciate all the feedback, support and can't wait to see you all next year.

    One last thing...

    Remember that our Platform is much better than our bowling:

  • Develop Freely! Introducing: MapQuest Platform: Free Edition.

    Hi! If you're reading this, you've gotten word we have this Developer Blog. A number of thoughts might be running through your mind as you hover over the "next" button on your feed reader or "close" on this browser tab:

    "MapQuest has a blog?"

    "MapQuest has a Developer Blog?"

    "MapQuest has Developers?"

    and if you're a mash-up developer: "MapQuest has APIs?"

    Yeah, yeah, we know. Over the past few years we know it seemed that on the outside MapQuest seemed a bit behind the times, a Web 1.0 giant sitting on the bench of a Web 2.0 Internet. However, inside MapQuest there have been people hard at work trying to change our culture and perspective into something that can thrive in a "Web 2.0" world. We've been changing teams, processes, some developers switched to Macs -- serious, real change.

    While we've been quiet, we've also been building things. More accurately, we've been rebuilding things. Starting with the 5.0 releases, we have rebuilt much of our geospatial web services platform from the ground up. Currently at version 5.2 and with 5.3 in beta, these releases contain lots of practical things, lots of cool things, lots of helpful things. Now we're making them free things.

    Developer Choice

    We're happy to finally introduce the MapQuest Platform: Free Edition. We've taken nearly all the features of our platform and made them freely available to developers. We believe that Free Edition provides developers a comprehensive toolset and flexible APIs so they can build well, whatever they want. Developers can choose the programming language of their choice and the features they need to build the applications they want, the way they want.

    Here's some of the Free Edition features:

    • Six APIs
      • We're giving developers greater flexibility and choice by enabling them to develop in a variety of programming languages and environments, they can even mix and match:
        • Java
        • C++
        • .NET
        • JavaScript
        • AS3 (Adobe ActionScript 3: Flash, Flex, AIR)
        • Our newest API: FUJAX (Flash Under JavaScript and XML), which allows developers to write in JavaScript, yet leverage the power of Flash.
        • and of course LOLcode. Nope, sorry, still no LOLcode suport.
    • A Rich Mapping Interface for creating Rich Internet Applications with our JavaScript, AS3, or FUJAX APIs:
      • Aerial Imagery and Hybrid Views - Satellite imagery and aerial photography.
      • Smart Rollovers - Rollover windows that adapt their size and positioning on the map based on the content placed in the window.
      • Smooth Zoom - Animated transitions between zoom levels.
      • Globe View - A map of the world presented as an interactive globe.
      • "Flickable" Maps - Maps that continue to pan based on speed and friction settings.
      • Advanced Shape Overlays - Build apps that allow users to create and interact with a variety of overlays on maps.
      • Advanced Map Marker Features - With "declutter mode," automatically move collided markers (POIs) to alternate positions on the map with a customizable leader line pointing back to their original location.
    • Unlimited Maps - Worldwide: Standard or Tiled.
    • Unlimited Geocoding - Multi-line and Single-line Geocoding, Real-time Batch Geocoding, Reverse Geocoding, Postal Code and Town Geocoding.
    • Unlimited Routing - Point-to-Point, Multi-point or Optimized.
    • Simplified Data Management - MapQuest offers access to simple tools to upload and manage location information to help keep websites accurate and relevant.

    You'll find more information on all of this on the MapQuest Developer Network, where you can also download the code and give the Free Edition a test drive. You can also find documentation, example applications and how-to articles to reference while checking out our APIs.


  • FUJAX: Giving JavaScript a Good .SWF Kick in the AS!

    Are you a developer who wishes that you could get rid of a server-side proxy page to bypass cross-domain browser issues?

    Are you a JavaScript developer who longs to create maps that go beyond tiles and want to be entranced by the glitz and glamour that is Flash?

    If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you need to know about the latest in Internet buzzwords: FUJAX.

    FUJAX is our newest API, released in our 5.2 update. It stands for: "Flash Under JavaScript and XML." Or, as Ant, our Senior Product Manager for our APIs explains (note: please read in your worst British accent):

    "All the visual, performance, and browser-agnostic benefits of Flash; all the knowledge ubiquity of JavaScript."

    The easiest explanation I can provide is: You (or your army of ninja programmers) continue to write JavaScript, when the page loads, it's a Flash map. Yep, JavaScript in; Flash out!

    While we have nothing but respect and adoration for the noble ActionScript 3 language and those who write it, we also know that there's plenty of JavaScript expertise running around AJAXing-up the Web. Now these JavaScript warriors can add Flash maps to their weapons lockers.

    • Enjoy that you can write the code once and have it run identically on all browsers with the Flash 9 plug-in or better.
    • None of the layered transparency issues when printing. Map output in Flash is WYSIWYG.
    • Performance benefits over the browser JavaScript engines. Of course, this will depend on your application; your mileage may vary.
    • Put all of that JavaScript know-how to use. Learn ActionScript later.

    So how do you use it? Well here's a very basic example of replacing a map built on the 5.2 JavaScript API with the 5.2 FUJAX API:

    • Replace "<script src=" transaction?transaction=script&key=YOUR_KEY_HERE&ipr=true&itk=true&v=5.2.0" type="text/javascript"></script>"
      "<script src=" transaction?transaction=script&key=YOUR_KEY_HERE&ipr=true&itk=true&v=5.2.0w type="text/javascript"></script>"
    • Save and reload browser
    • See JS tiled map replaced with Flash

    That's it! Well, that's not it, there's a tons more you could do, but it's the end of this post. You can find the 5.2 FUJAX API bundled with the 5.2 JavaScript API on the MapQuest Developer Network.

  • Beta Update: 5.3 Release Candidate 2 Released!

    Turn Your World Upside Down

    Let's talk briefly about globes. You know, those ones that sit in libraries in period piece movies where some old guy in a leather chair sits next to it, smoking a pipe and calling Shakespeare a hack? Those globes. The ones where when you see them, you can't help but spin it as hard as you can in the slim hope the momentum will send it rolling across the room.

    Well you can now create and spin your own virtual globe. We fixed a bug in the new full-axis globe view so you should now see improved performance when trying to spin it off your web page.

    if (AC_FL_RunContent == 0) { alert("This page requires AC_RunActiveContent.js."); } else { AC_FL_RunContent( 'codebase', ',0,0,0', 'width', '450', 'height', '450', 'src', '', 'quality', 'high', 'pluginspage', '', 'align', 'middle', 'play', 'true', 'loop', 'true', 'scale', 'showall', 'wmode', 'window', 'devicefont', 'false', 'id', 'Untitled-1', 'bgcolor', '#ffffff', 'name', '2008-03-03_embedglobe', 'menu', 'true', 'allowFullScreen', 'false', 'allowScriptAccess','sameDomain', 'movie', '', 'salign', '' ); //end AC code }

    KML and GeoRSS Support: We got it.

    Create a RemoteCollection, tell it the location of the feed and its format, and watch it get automagically sucked onto the map! And if you have another format, feel free to extend the feed loading classes to create your own loadable formats. Sorry, LOLcode support is still a no-go.

    But wait, there's more!

    Here's the list of other major updates in the just released 5.3rc2 Beta update of the MapQuest Platform:

    • Beta Issues Forum now available - A forum for posting about Beta has been created in the Technical Resource Center.
    • Old POI & Overlay Getters/Setters restored (JavaScript) - We've added back in the 5.2 getters and Setters for POIs and Overlays.
    • POI & Overlay getValue & setValue methods added (JS and FUJAX) - The new getValue and setValue functions have been added to the POI and Overlay objects in FUJAX so that both the old, and the new methods of setting properties on these objects are now available in both JavaScript and FUJAX.
    • Multiple Collections (JS, AS3, FUJAX) - Building on our efforts last month to combine POICollections and OverlayCollections into a single ShapeCollection, you can now add multiple ShapeCollections to a map.

    Check out more information and samples on the MapQuest Developer Network Beta page.