MapQuest Developer Blog

Archives for Steven Toole

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"Steven is a 26-year marketing veteran with hundreds of articles, papers, presentations and podcasts to his credit. A DC-area resident since 1993, Steven has helped dozens of technology companies achieve their market potential through effective marketing strategies and cost-efficient execution. He has a B.S. in Advertising from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and an MBA and a Master's in International Management from the University of Maryland."
  • Amazon Deliveries Depend on MapQuest for Business

    Have you ever wondered how Amazon.com can quickly, accurately and reliably deliver millions of packages throughout North America? Well, it's likely that your last Amazon purchase was delivered through Key Software Systems' Xcelerator software, powered by MapQuest for Business.

    Objectives:

    • Replace outdated geospatial services vendor with a future-proof provider.
    • Quickly and seamlessly integrate geospatial APIs into Xcellerator software.
    • Enable geocoding for route optimization and mileage tracking.
    • Provide visual mapping capabilities.
    • Integrate reliable traffic data to maximize driver efficiency.

    The Key to 'Final Mile' Deliveries

    Dramatic growth in online shopping has accelerated business for hundreds of delivery companies responsible for what is known in the shipping industry as "final mile" deliveries. Large trucks, trains and ships transport goods to centralized distribution centers, where local courier companies receive the goods and transport to the final residential or commercial destination. When millions of packages are at stake, reliable and accurate geospatial data is essential to providing fast and efficient final mile delivery service.

    To help thousands of drivers from hundreds of courier companies make their final mile deliveries, Key Software Systems makes a comprehensive courier software system called Xcelerator. The software manages all aspects of deliveries from route optimization to proof of delivery (POD) signatures, photographing delivery locations and more.

    A Total Geospatial Eclipse

    For years, Key Software used geospatial software from another provider that was considered a standard in the shipping industry. But in 2008, advancements in web technology eclipsed Key Software's geospatial provider into obsolescence, forcing the search for a new solution.

    A Seamless Transition

    After carefully evaluating every major geospatial services provider, Key Software chose MapQuest for Business. According to Key Software's VP of Sales and Marketing, Patrick Scardilli, "MapQuest satisfied all our requirements more cost-effectively than any other provider, and helped us make the switch quickly and seamlessly."

    Since making the switch in 2008, the company has continuously leveraged several of MapQuest for Business' APIs to provide essential geospatial capabilities in the Xcelerator software, including the:

    • Geocoding and Static Map APIs for courier companies to visually track driver locations and package pickup points
    • Directions API to determine the most efficient pickup and delivery routes
    • Traffic API to reroute drivers around traffic delays
    • Geocoding API to accurately track 'door-to-door' mileage

    "It's been a great relationship with MapQuest. They've helped drive efficiency through the roof."

    -- Key Software Systems VP of Sales and Marketing, Patrick Scardilli

    Driving Efficiency Through the Roof

    "It's been a great relationship with MapQuest. They've helped drive efficiency through the roof," Scardilli said. "Our customers are extremely happy now because they can audit everything related to their deliveries, thanks to MapQuest. They now have amazing visibility and an audit trail of assets, routes and deliveries, plotting the location of each event on any computer screen or mobile device, providing breadcrumb trails for every delivery."

  • Millions of Accurate Real Estate Appraisals Depend on MapQuest for Business

    Global DMSWhat's the best way to enable lenders and appraisers to perform millions of real estate appraisals using comparable properties in the area? The answer for Lansdale, Pa.-based Global DMS®, is MapQuest for Business.

    Automating the Entire Valuation Process

    To help Global DMS users perform appraisals accurately and efficiently, the company developed eTrac®, a valuation management SaaS platform. eTrac automates every step in the collateral valuation process, including risk checks, compliance, appraisal data validation and valuation performance management.

    Objectives:

    • Geocode over one million subject properties per year across the U.S. and Canada.
    • Identify the ideal appraisers for various properties based on their geographical location.
    • Display the subject property, comparable properties and listings on a map.
    Location, Location, Location

    Every real estate professional knows that location is everything when it comes to the value of a property. Since a property's valuation relies heavily on the value of comparable properties in surrounding areas, the accuracy of location data is critical. In addition, the U.S. Federal Housing Authority requires appraisers to have 'geographic competency' of the areas in which they perform appraisals. Using inaccurate location data to calculate the valuation of a property or to select an appraiser could spell disaster for the property's buyer, seller or lender.

    In 2008, Global DMS replaced its original geospatial services provider due to challenges with usability and overall capabilities. After evaluating several providers, the company ultimately chose MapQuest for Business. According to Global DMS CEO and President, Vladimir Bien-Aime, "MapQuest's functionality and price point were far better than everything else we considered."

    Seeing the Big Picture

    More than nine years later, MapQuest continues to provide the geospatial data that enables eTrac users to find the most geographically competent appraisers and comparable values for more than a million U.S. and Canadian properties annually. eTrac uses MapQuest's Geocoding API to accurately calculate the distance between subject properties and comparable properties. When displaying the most geographically competent appraisers and all the property's nearby features on a map, eTrac leverages MapQuest's Static Map API. "MapQuest is really good at overlaying points of interest," said Bien-Aime. "This makes it easy for buyers and appraisers to see the big picture of a property and its proximity to schools, churches, parks, shopping centers and other landmarks."

    Accurate Data Makes Happy Users

    MapQuest has made an extremely positive impact on eTrac's users. "Our users really like it," said Bien-Aime. "Banks are happy because they're covered with accurate comparisons performed by geographically competent appraisers. Homeowners are happy because they get the right value for the property."

    "MapQuest enables appraisals to be completed as efficiently as possible. It just works and we don't have to think about it. No other solutions are more functionally-rich and stable than MapQuest for Business."

    --Global DMS CEO and President, Vladimir Bien-Aime

    "MapQuest enables appraisals to be completed as efficiently as possible," said Bien-Aime. "It just works and we don't have to think about it. No other solutions are more functionally-rich and stable than MapQuest for Business." His experience in working with MapQuest has been equally positive. "The people at MapQuest have always been very good to work with, in support and account management," he said. "The MapQuest team is quick to work with us for all our needs. It's been a really great relationship between Global DMS and MapQuest."

    Global DMS and eTrac are registered trademarks of Global DMS, Inc.

  • Autism Therapists Save Time and Money with MapQuest for Business

    CARDEver since the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) implemented MapQuest for Business APIs in 2013, the company has saved a quarter million dollars and streamlined their more than 2,500 therapists' daily routines. In addition, time and mileage is now reported automatically for each of their therapists, eliminating the hassle and inaccuracy of manual reporting.

    Objectives:

    • Automate the mapping to and from thousands of patient addresses
    • Automate the manual process of routing thousands of patient visits nationwide
    • Streamline the logging of patient visit travel time and distance

    On the Road for Recovery

    Recovery from autism is at the center of CARD's mission, sending thousands of therapists on the road every day to visit with individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    With nearly 140 offices nationwide and 150 therapists in each office, scheduling hundreds of daily routes required one full time employee per office – nearly 140 individuals manually mapping out daily routes. Additionally, therapists submit their individual travel time and mileage for reimbursement, which was also a manual process that was subject to potential inaccuracies.

    Powered by MapQuest for Business

    In 2013, CARD selected MapQuest for Business to provide APIs for several key capabilities for CARD's therapists:

    • Mapping to and from patient addresses using MapQuest Geocoding API
    • Forward geocoding patient addresses using MapQuest Geocoding API
    • Routing guidance and time and distance logging via MapQuest Directions API

    CARDAt the time, CARD wanted only these capabilities, without displaying the results on a map. Alva Powell is CARD's senior technical architect. "I did a lot of research on this to begin with, and MapQuest was the only company that could provide this functionality," said Powell. "Other vendors offered routing APIs, but required us to display the map with the route. MapQuest said, 'no problem,' and gave us exactly what we wanted." CARD relies upon MapQuest APIs to route its thousands of therapists' daily patient visits, and automatically log their travel time and mileage for reimbursement.

    "The MapQuest APIs were super simple and quick to implement. It's been a huge win for us."

    - Senior Technical Architect at CARD, Powell

    A Huge Win

    Since implementing MapQuest's APIs, CARD has saved an estimated $250,000 by automating what was once very manual, labor intensive work. "It's been a huge win for us," said Powell. "The MapQuest APIs were super simple and quick to implement. Any time we need anything, MapQuest responds very quickly. If someone else had my same requirements I'd tell them to go straight to MapQuest. We've been very happy with them."

  • Xevo Picks MapQuest for Business for Millions of Passenger Vehicles

    XevoWhen Seattle-based Xevo needed highly-accurate and reliable geospatial data for the company's in-car software platform, MapQuest for Business fit the bill. The company's Journeyware system is embedded into millions of passenger vehicles manufactured by several of the world's largest carmakers, including Toyota and Lexus.

    Objectives:

    • Receive consistent and accurate geocode data for Xevo's Journeyware in-dash infotainment system.
    • Initially power five different apps in Journeyware with latitude and longitude data, expanding to more apps over time.
    • Maintain the absolute highest quality user experience expected by world-class auto manufacturers.

    Improving Driver Safety and Experience

    According to a recent study, 80 percent of new vehicles will be connected to digital services by the year 2020*. Founded in 2000, Xevo is a leading supplier of a software platform called Journeyware that combines location and other in-car data with cloud-based analytics and machine learning to improve safety, performance and overall driver experience in millions of vehicles worldwide.

    In addition to leading entertainment applications, Journeyware includes location-enabled applications for weather and dining, such as Yelp. Xevo depends on reliable and accurate geospatial data to make Yelp and other location-specific applications in Journeyware work for millions of motorists using the company's software platform.

    Hitting a Roadblock with Open Source Geospatial Data

    To power the location-specific applications in Journeyware, Xevo initially tried using open source geospatial data but quickly discovered shortcomings with data consistency and accuracy. "As a Tier 1 supplier to the world's largest automotive manufacturers, the quality of the user experience with our products is absolutely critical," said Chief Marketing Officer for Xevo, Brian Woods. "So we expect nothing less from our technology partners as well. In the case of geospatial data, that means the absolute highest levels of consistency and accuracy of the location information that's integrated into our platform." According to Xevo Relationship Manager, Terry Zajic, "Open source location data has its place in the software development world, but we tried it and it just didn't meet our requirements in this case."

    "MapQuest has been the right partner for us in helping to make our product better and more accurate, providing our customers with a better overall experience."

    -- Xevo's Chief Marketing Officer, Woods

    Xevo Turns to MapQuest for Business

    In mid-2016, Xevo reached a crossroads with open-source geospatial data, and turned to MapQuest as the company's new geospatial service provider for accurate geocoding within Journeyware. "It's been a terrific partnership," said Woods. "MapQuest has been the right partner for us in helping to make our product better and more accurate, providing our customers with a better overall experience."

    Zajic agrees with Woods. "Our customers expect us and all of our partners to be on top of their game. MapQuest filled that need for us with top-notch geospatial services. The data has been rock solid and has worked to our great satisfaction."

    Xevo has been equally impressed with MapQuest's customer service. "MapQuest's responsiveness and ease of integration have been outstanding," said Zajic. "They helped us integrate their Geocoding API, and it's worked exactly as documented. We've had great success in working with MapQuest."

    *Source: Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) supported by BearingPoint

  • QTC Uses MapQuest for Business for America’s Heroes

    QTCSince 2000, QTC has performed more than four million physical and diagnostic tests for U.S. veterans across the company's 60+ office locations nationwide. Owned by Leidos, the Los Angeles, California-based company, QTC is the largest provider of government-outsourced occupational health and disability examination services in the U.S. QTC uses MapQuest for Business to help examinees quickly and easily locate the nearest provider.

    Examinations for America's Heroes

    QTC provides a variety of employment-focused medical examinations and diagnostic testing services to clients in the private sector as well as federal, state, and local government agencies. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are just a few of QTC's government clients.

    Objectives:

    • Quickly and accurately geocode examinees' addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates.
    • Track mileage for QTC examiners visiting patients in the field.
    • Send map and driving directions to examinees via mobile device or portal.

    Finding the Right Provider Quickly and Easily

    Accurately routing and locating over 15 million searches for an examination provider per year requires a robust and precise geolocation engine. Geocode results from QTC's previous provider were slow to be returned and inaccurate. The company recognized the need for a better geocode service with increased accuracy and speed of results for the military, civilian government and private sector users searching for an examination provider. In addition, QTC needed a way to accurately track mileage traveled by examiners visiting patients in the field.

    MapQuest for Business is Called to Serve

    QTC evaluated several alternatives to its legacy geolocation provider, but ultimately chose MapQuest for Business for three reasons: the availability of the application program interface (APIs) that could be easily integrated into QTC's case management system workflows, the cost structure and flexibility of terms, and the speed and accuracy of geocode results.

    QTCSince integrating the MapQuest for Business Geocoding API into QTC's case management system in 2015, user adoption has skyrocketed, exceeding QTC's expectations. MapQuest's Geocoding API automatically translates examination requests from addresses to latitude and longitude, the Search API identifies the nearest examiners within the predefined radius guidelines, and the Directions API returns turn-by-turn driving on a map to either a mobile device and QTC portal. For examinees traveling to QTC Clinics or Provider's office locations, MapQuest's Directions API tracks mileage within QTC's case management system, automatically submitting mileage for reimbursement more accurately and timely than ever before.

    "Our users really like the speed and accuracy of MapQuest's results. Overall, we have increased our user satisfaction with this functionality by offering the ideal providers for our examinees with the accurate location functionality of the MapQuest engine."

    - Chief Information Officer at QTC, Nader Nemati

    A Path to Success

    QTC's Chief Information Officer, Nader Nemati, reflects on the team's choice of MapQuest for Business for QTC's case management system: "Our users really like the speed and accuracy of MapQuest's results in identifying the best and closest providers for our examinations. The MapQuest API system uptime and system resiliency has been strong and MapQuest has been very reasonable in partnering with us on the licensing model based on our volumes. Overall, we have increased our user satisfaction with this functionality by offering the MapQuest engine within our case management application."