MapQuest Developer Blog

Archives for Lori Colston

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

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  • New Routing Options Available Today

    Weight constraints? Height constraints? No problem. We recently added new routing options, to the avoids string collection, letting you easily avoid bridges or tunnels on your next trip. We’ve added these bridges and tunnels to our avoid string collection. The complete list now includes:

    • Limited Access (highways)

    • Toll Road

    • Ferry

    • Unpaved

    • Approximate Seasonal Closure (Seasonal roads may not be selected with 100% accuracy)

    • Country Border Crossing

    • New: Bridges

    • New: Tunnels

    Additionally, you now have more control over the returned route from our Directions API. You can ensure certain road types are not included in the routes with “disallow,” or you can add your preference for certain roads with “prefer.” When using "avoid," the route avoids road types where possible, and you're notified if the route was unable to avoid the road type. Conversely with the "disallow" feature, the route request will fail if a route does not satisfy your criteria. Currently, we only offer “prefer” for highways, and we’ll be adding additional road segments in the future.

    Click here for more information on our Directions API.
  • Extended Rights Geocoding: Now Offered on Business and Business Plus Plans

    Here at MapQuest, we’re focused on improving our products and solutions to meet our customer needs. We make a point to listen to our customers and incorporate their feedback when evaluating our offerings and prioritizing new features. Today, we’re happy to announce one of our top offerings is now available to our Business  and Business Plus customers — Extended Rights Geocoding (ERG) license.

    Extended Rights Geocoding

    Extended Rights Geocoding give you the flexibility to display geocode results on a MapQuest map, an alternative provider’s map, or no map at all. We make it easy for you to pinpoint the best combination of location-based providers to meet your needs and your budget. Additionally, you can store the geocode results within your own database as long as you have an active agreement with MapQuest.

    Who is eligible?

    Customers with a Business Enhanced, Business Plus Enhanced plan, and Enterprise customers. To upgrade your existing self-serve plan, got to “My Plan” and click on “Change Plan.” For Enterprise customers, reach out to your Sales Rep or Account Manager for more information.

    Additional Key for ERG

    With our ERG licenses comes an additional key that is required for any geocode requests in which you wish to store the results or display the results on another provider’s map. The key will be sent via email upon signing up.

    Pricing

    Self-serve customers can purchase a license for an additional $100/month on either the Business Enhanced or Business Plus Enhanced plan, for a total of a $499/month or $899/month agreement. The transaction limits for these plans are 200,000 and 500,000 respectively. View plan details here. Customers are required to commit to a 6 month agreement, and they will be billed on a monthly basis.

    For any additional questions, feel free to reach out to developer-services@mapquest.com

  • Location Services 5.0 Available Today!

    Sound the alarms— Location Services 5.0 is here! We’ve made big improvements to search architecture, handling and geocoding in the U.S. and Canada in order to provide more accurate geocoding results for your applications. So, what does this mean for you? Simply stated, we’re helping you create a better experience for your users. We’re hyper-focused on accounting for increasingly common designators, search behavior, and data nuances so that your applications are using the most accurate results.  Here’s an overview of what’s new in this release: Better support for non-exact address points and intersections When a non-exact address point is geocoded (e.g. 1555 Blak St., Dnver, CO US), we’re able to better estimate the location where a pin should be dropped, helping improve the accuracy of these results. We’ve also added back support for “and” and “&” within street names when searching for an intersection. Refining secondary designators Secondary designators are used to differentiate unit or building numbers when one address has multiple associations. In this release, we have improved how the geocoder handles results for true secondary designators (e.g. 9S180 Lake Dr Bldg 19A, US 60527) as well as removed the association between secondary designators and numbers as part of a street name (e.g. 163 Old Hwy 21, State Road, NC US 28676). Improved handling of nuanced language and postal service abbreviations There are a few different improvements in this area, all of which will help better handle nuanced language, address structure, and abbreviations. Have you ever seen a directionals within a street name (e.g. 123 E. Eastwest St.)? Well, they exist and it can make things quite confusing when trying to pinpoint an address. No longer! You’ll also see expanded for U.S. Postal Service approved abbreviations (i.e. US Highway 70 can now be entered as US-70), punctuation within an address, and Canadian front-of-house numbers (e.g.  44-116 2nd Ave, E1C 7Y2). Confidence code updates We take pride in our geocoding results and provide a 5 digit confidence code to every result. Visit the documentation to learn how to determine the meaning of a confidence code. If you have questions on how the recent update to Location Services impacts confidence codes or your geocoding results, contact Technical Support.
  • Transaction Counting and Directions API

    MapQuest plans, whether at the self-serve or Enterprise Edition level, generally operate on a quota system, in which customers purchase a set number of monthly or annual transactions. In most cases, a transaction is a request made to an underlying MapQuest service, such as a request to the Directions API or Geocoding API. To provide additional transparency on geocoding transactions and how they count towards your plan, we developed this post with further detail. Embedded Transactions Based on the request type, more than one transaction may be counted towards your quota for a specific request. This type of transaction is an embedded transaction. Embedded transactions must call out to another service in order to complete the initial request. For example, a request to the Directions API can generate geocoding or reverse geocoding transactions depending on the nature of the request. When making a request to the Directions API with an origin and destination, 3 transactions will count towards your plan: 1 Direction transaction and 2 Geocode transactions. Reverse Geocoding and Embedded Transactions Another example of embedded transactions is found in one of our advanced routing options, our reverse geocoding. When routing to/from latitude and longitude coordinates, the Directions API will call the Geocoding API to reverse geocode the coordinates. Since an additional service outside of the Directions API is leveraged, more than one transaction will accumulate towards your plan. This behavior is controlled by the doReverseGeocode parameter, which is set to ‘true’ by default. In order to prevent the Directions API from reverse geocoding the provided coordinates, the doReverseGeocode parameter can be set to ‘false’ instead by updating the code. API Response Details and Setting Parameters for Reverse Geocoding  When routing to/from latitude and longitude coordinates, the Directions API will call the Geocoding API to reverse geocode coordinates. Location information will populate the Locations block in the Directions API response. This is reflected in example 1A below: Example 1A: http://www.mapquestapi.com/directions/v2/route?key=yourkeyhere&doReverseGeocode=true&from=39.75939757682461,-105.0499391555786&to=39.76563251993667,-105.00723838806151

    In order to prevent the Directions API from reverse geocoding the provided latitude and longitude coordinates, the doReverseGeocode parameter can be set to ‘false,’ which is shown in example 1B below:

    Example 1B:

    http://www.mapquestapi.com/directions/v2/route?key=yourkeyhere&doReverseGeocode=false&from=39.75939757682461,-105.0499391555786&to=39.76563251993667,-105.00723838806151

    When the doReverseGeocode parameter is set to ‘false’, location information about each set of latitude and longitude coordinates will not be populated in the response.

    Note: The destination maneuver text will be affected by updates to the doReverseGeocode parameters. If doReversGeocode parameter is set to ‘false’, printed directions will show, “You have arrived at your destination.” When set to ‘true’, destination text will include “1555 Blake Street is on your right.”

    You can find plan information and the number of transactions used at any given time after logging into your account through our website.

    Enterprise Edition customers are encouraged to contact their Account Manager or the Technical Support team for answers regarding transactions, the Directions API best practices, or correct usage of the doReverseGeocode parameter. Self service customers should reference our documentation on the Developer Network or contact developer-services@mapquest.com.