MapQuest Developer Blog

  • Updated Flash Samples Explorer and DGLux MapQuest Component

    Flash Samples Explorer Thumbnail Developers who are using the MapQuest Flash Maps API may have noticed recent changes to the MapQuest Flash Samples Explorer application. The Samples Explorer application is intended to highlight the functionality of the Flash Maps API by providing interactive samples and easily-downloadable source code. Quite a few of the existing samples have been revised to incorporate additional functionality and two new samples have been added: search map and alternate routes. Search Map is a sample that dynamically displays results from the MapQuest Search Web Service based on the extent of the map. Query results are updated and displayed every time a zoomend or dragend event is detected, so, every time the map is zoomed or panned, the results are updated based on the extent of the map. Also, a slider component allows a maximum number of search results to be defined, so the results will be limited to a number that is set by the user. The Alternate Routes sample queries the MapQuest Directions Web Service and displays route alternatives that are returned when a route is requested. Alternate routes are displayed in a clickable list and the time, distance, route map, and narrative will update based on the selected route, which allows for easy comparison of route details. The maximum number of route alternatives that are returned by the Directions Web Service can be defined as well, so the results will be limited to a number that is set by the user. Finally, DGLogik has announced a MapQuest component for their innovative Adobe Flex and AIR-based DGLux visualization platform. DGLux allows users to create data-driven applications and dashboards without writing a single line of code! The DGLux MapQuest component is powered by the MapQuest Flash Maps API. Check out the video tutorial below:
  • Updated MapQuest OSM Tiles and More OpenStreetMap Switchovers

    Is 2012 the year of Open mapping? We've been ecstatic to see the energy around OpenStreetMap, and have noticed several applications recently convert to using MapQuest-OSM tiles and other companies like foursquare embrace OpenStreetMap as a foundation of their business. We're going to dive into two of applications that chose MapQuest Open and examine the process they undertook to reach that decision. First, we'd like to talk about changes we've made to our MapQuest-OSM Tiles in order to deliver better, faster and more reliable maps. MapQuest-OSM Tile Changes This week we launched a major upgrade to our tiling infrastructure, with two major benefits. The first is noticeable, while the second hopefully is never noticed. We updated the styles of our Open tiles to match some of the improvements we've made on our licensed tileset. Click on the image below to see the details of our extreme makeover. MapQuest Open Tiles Old vs New The second change is that we upgraded the tiling platform for better performance and reliability. Hopefully it's like a great offensive line in football - you never notice it because it just works. We have more updates in our Open infrastructure on the way. Stay tuned. MapQuest Open Tiles + Leaflet [caption id="attachment_1841" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Nestoria"]screenshot from Nestoria.com[/caption] Next we wanted to highlight some applications that recently switched to MapQuest OpenStreetMap Tiles and why they did it. Both of them paired our tiles with Leaflet, an open source JavaScript mapping library that we're big fans of. Nestoria is a property search engine that operates in five European markets, India, Brazil, and Australia, and has successfully implemented MapQuest-OSM Tiles and Leaflet. There are many reasons why Nestoria chose to use MapQuest-OSM Tiles with Leaflet, but one reason specifically mentioned is the availability of tools and support from the community, which includes MapQuest's active support for OSM. [caption id="attachment_1842" align="alignright" width="350" caption="World Airport Codes"][/caption] Fubra, the operator of the World Airport Codes website, shared details of their switch from the Google Maps API to a solution that involves MapQuest-OSM Tiles and Leaflet as well. After evaluating a number of solutions, they ultimately decided that the combination of MapQuest-OSM and Leaflet offered the best solution for their needs. If you have questions about MapQuest Open data initiatives or want to learn more, feel free to check out the documentation and open data forums on the MapQuest Developer Network. Also, if you have an app that is using MapQuest-OSM tiles and want it to be featured on this blog, let us know!
  • MapQuest Releases Native Mobile Mapping APIs for Android and Apple iOS

    Today we're excited to announce the production release of our Android Maps API and the beta release of our Apple iOS Maps API.  We think you'll find these as a great alternative to the native Google mapping APIs. Both APIs have been designed as "drop in" replacements for the native Google mapping APIs.  To switch simply include our API instead of the native API.  We used the same object model as the native API, while of course extending it to add great features such as integrated driving directions plus the ability to use OpenStreetMap data or our licensed datasets. Just like all of our APIs, our native mobile APIs feature no preset limits on maps with our free Community Edition license.  See the Terms Overview for a fuller explanation of our license options and limitations. Both the Android and Apple iOS Map APIs come with a full set of samples to show off many of the great features available, which include: Android Maps API
    • Advanced routing options and ability to display the route directly on the map
    • Built-in geocoding and reverse geocoding
    • Smooth animation when zooming/panning
    • Ability to rotate the map
    • Support of shape and image overlays
    • Developer's Guide
    Apple iOS Maps API Beta
    • Advanced routing options and ability to display the route directly on the map
    • Reverse geocoding
    • Smooth animation when zooming/panning
    • Support of shape and image overlays
    For those interested in using OpenStreetMap data, simply don't pass a key and the API will automatically default to using OpenStreetMap data and services. So in summary, you can replace your native API with hardly any effort and get more features plus no preset limits on map transactions!  What are you waiting for?  Check out the documentation and samples at the following links: Android Maps API Apple iOS Maps API (Beta) Please let us know what you think on our forums and please please tell us about any great apps you've built.  We're excited to see what you come up with.
    1. Portions of this page are modifications based on work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. 2. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.
  • Mobile Flash Maps API v7.0.7 released with Dev Girl coverage!

    We're excited to announce the latest update to our Mobile Flash Maps API, for both licensed data and open data. What's new you ask?  Primarily two things.  First, we overhauled the touch interaction with the map.  This includes vast improvement to pinch zoom, as well as the expected defaults of double tap to zoom in and two finger tap to zoom out. The easiest way to check these improvements out are by downloading our Flash Maps API Showcase app in either iTunes or Android Marketplace.  If you want to see how it was built, you can download the sample mobile map application source code. Second, we upgraded our API to the recently released Adobe Flash Builder 4.6.  Adobe played Santa early this year and stuffed their latest release with a number of nice goodies. The addition of native extensions allows you to complement your Flash Builder app with native code, allowing you to access native features of mobile platforms that were unavailable before.  Also, for those who have griped about having to separately download AIR when installing a Flash Builder built application, the new captive runtime feature alleviates that concern.  In addition to these features, Adobe introduced several new mobile components that will provide even more options when designing your perfect app. For many ardent Adobe developers, the name Dev Girl has a special place in our hearts.  My personal first experience with Holly's wisdom was when I was trying to navigate the iTunes app store submission process. Holly, my wife and kids thank you for the extra 8 to 10 hours they got to spend with me rather than hearing daddy scream at his computer. Holly helped fix some issues we faced during development, and has since written a nice overview piece on developing with our Mobile Flash Maps API.  I encourage you to check it out and follow her blog, as I guarantee she will save you development time down the road.  Thanks for all the help Holly!
  • No Preset Limit on Free Map API Transactions

    Transaction limits among free map APIs have been a hot topic lately.  MapQuest is excited to announce a change to our limits, which includes no preset limit on maps within our free Community Edition license!  In addition, we are setting higher limits on our other service calls (the highest in the industry), with 5,000 geocodes, 5,000 routes and 5,000 search calls allowed per day. In addition to our new transactional limits (or lack thereof!) we wanted to clarify where and how you can use our APIs with a Community Edition license.  You CAN develop paid mobile applications for app stores using our Community Edition licenses.  You can also use SSL. For all the details, check out the following Map API Licensing and Terms Overview.  Also check out the Terms of Use for all the legal specifics.  I've included the handy chart available from the overview below.  Head over to the MapQuest Developer Network to sign up for a free map API key and start developing!
      ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY
      Licensed Data Licensed Data Open Data
    Maps (No preset limit)* (No preset limit)* (No preset limit)*
    Directions (No preset limit)* (5000 calls/day) (No preset limit)*
    Geocoding (No preset limit)* (5000 calls/day) (No preset limit)*
    Search (No preset limit)* (5000 calls/day) (No preset limit)*
    Route Matrix (No preset limit)* (5000 route pairs/day) (No preset limit)*
    Traffic **  
    Non-Commercial or Public Web Apps
    Non-Commercial or Public Mobile Apps
    Private and/or Paid Commercial Web Apps  
    Paid Mobile Apps
    SSL
    Forum Support
    Premium Support(24/7 Phone & Email Support)    
    System Performance Levels    
    Account Management    

    * MapQuest operates a shared service and reserves the right to limit access to prevent service degradation.  Please contact MapQuest to discuss applications with heavy traffic volume expectations.

    ** The Traffic API Web Service cannot be used for real-time navigation, in conjunction with in-car or stand alone portable navigation devices, or be used as the primary purpose of your website or application.

  • The New MapQuest Developer Network

    If you visit the MapQuest Developer Network today, you'll notice something completely new and refreshing! A major design overhaul was completed recently in order to help users navigate the site more easily and to better understand the various product offerings using the MapQuest Platform. In addition to the new design, the Developer Network now features a Quick Start guide for both developers and non-developers. With the popularity of products such as Map Builder, it's become increasingly clear that a large number of users are flocking to the Developer Network for mapping tools that require no coding on their part. So no matter your code skill level, the Developer Network will have you covered with the following guides: We've also added some pages to answer common questions like, should I use Licensed or Open Data? We've also updated our Mobile Mapping Overview to help you choose the right technology for your mobile mapping application. The new design also highlights some of our most recent products, making the site even more informative while still keeping a simple, elegant look. On the right sidebar you'll see related content, where we'll try to highlight examples, videos and other links that are relevant to the page. Social media buttons have also been added to help users stay connected with MapQuest news, updates, and to answer any questions you may have. So what are you waiting for!? Check out the new MapQuest Developer Network and sign up for an account today! We hope you enjoy the new redesign as much as we do! (Seriously, we love it.)
  • Adobe MAX Thoughts + WebMapSolutions Sample

    [caption id="attachment_1640" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The SplitViewNavigator in Flash Builder 4.6"][/caption] Hello from cloudy and cool Los Angeles! Adobe MAX has been humming along so far and there's a lot of excitement about the types of mobile applications possible with Adobe Flash Builder 4.5, as well as the improvements coming with Flash Builder 4.6.  Naturally with mobile apps come mapping, directions, traffic and more, and so far we've seen a warm welcome to our new Mobile Flash Maps API. I set out at MAX to determine sentiment around the overall Flash Builder foray into mobile applications. The folks I spoke with were generally pleased and excited by the possibilities of coding once and deploying everywhere, not the least of which, significant cost savings. I had forgotten how much people love Flash Builder as a tool to design, build and debug applications -- when compared with developing in other web languages, Flash really spoils you. As far as actual mobile applications built with Flash Builder 4.5 in the market, the most notable is Politico. However, several folks I spoke with were in active development on some new apps, so the next 3-6 months should be interesting to watch. The pre-release of Flash Builder 4.6 has generated a stir, most notably with the performance enhancements, native extensions, new mobile components and an improved deployment for Android so that users don't have to separately install AIR. These first two features should really close the gap between what a Flash-built native app can do versus a natively coded app. From my perspective, it's exciting to be on the forefront of a technology that has such great potential. I'm pleased to see the features Adobe has in 4.6, as they match up well with MapQuest's roadmap. (We're trying to keep up with several great features of our own planned in the next several months.) On a related note, we have a cool demo to share from WebMapSolutions. While we've built our own demo application (which Android users can install directly from Android Market), the good folks at WebMapSolutions have been working on several of their own. Check out the following video they put together of one of their apps. Just a reminder, tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 5) at 10 a.m. we'll do a deeper dive into the capabilities of the API and what's next in our Unconference panel.
  • MapQuest Launches Mobile Flash Maps API

    MapQuest is at Adobe MAX in sunny Los Angeles and we are thrilled to announce the official release of our Mobile Flash Maps API on both licensed data and open data. I've been involved with many a mobile project over the years, and, frankly, they are a huge pain.  To build an app available to most users means building the same code several times over, once for each major platform.  Today, we're excited to announce a new API combined with an Adobe technology that should alleviate that pain. For those who have been following Adobe lately, you've seen some very exciting developments within their Flash Builder (Flex SDK) development tools.  With the release of Flash Builder 4.5, you can deploy native mobile applications to Apple iOS, Google Android and Blackberry Tablet from a single code base.  Yes, code ONE time and deploy native applications everywhere.  For those used to Adobe Flex, Flash Builder is the new name of the development tool to deploy applications using Adobe Flex SDK or ActionScript. Our Mobile Flash Maps API provides interactive mapping features to use within Flash Builder 4.5 native mobile applications.  This includes support for touch gestures, as well as making our controls and POIs mobile friendly. So now you can easily combine the great features of our web services, such as searching for traffic or optimizing your route, with an easy way to deploy to a mobile device.  Check out the video below to see just a small sample of what you can do. To me, there's nothing better than finding the perfect piece of sample code when I'm looking to develop an application.  The mobile application featured in that video is available to jumpstart your next mobile project.  If you're on an Android device, you can run this app directly on your phone by checking out the MapQuest Mobile Flash Maps API Showcase in the Android Market.  You can also download the source code for our mobile mapping app here. We couldn't squeeze all the features of our web services in a single app - here are some other features you might be interested in. Along with those features, you have your choice of using either our licensed data (what we use on MapQuest.com) or our open data (such as OpenStreetMap).  While the Mobile Flash Maps API is different from our web/desktop Flash Maps API, you'll still find many of the samples we provide on our desktop/web API will be useful to see the possibilities of what can be built.  Here is a full list of differences between the mobile and web/desktop versions of our Flash Maps API. This is just the beginning - we're excited to meet Flash Builder and Flex developers here at Adobe MAX and hear what features they're looking for from us going forward.  We have an Unconference discussion at 10 am on Wednesday if you would like to see the Mobile Flash Maps API in action. If you're not at the show, head over to our Flash Maps API Forums at let us know what you think.  We already have some additional improvements on the way. Catch up with us at MAX (@MapQuestRoman)!
  • Launching the MapQuest Android Maps API (Beta)

    It's no secret MapQuest is committed to providing our users the best possible experience with our mobile applications. What we also want to do, however, is help others take advantage of our efforts to develop beautiful applications of their own. Yes, we really are that generous! [caption id="attachment_1522" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Sample application using advanced routing options."][/caption] This is why we're announcing today the first beta release of the MapQuest Android Maps API! Additionally, we're providing a large number of samples to showcase our toolkit and provide the source code for each. The following describes just a few of the features you'll find in this beta release:
    • Advanced routing options and ability to display the route directly on the map
    • Built-in geocoding and reverse geocoding
    • Smooth animation when zooming/panning
    • Ability to rotate the map
    • Trackball gesture detector
    • Support of shape and image overlays
    But that's not all! The OpenStreetMap (OSM) community may be pleased to learn that, similar to our free Android app, our popular OSM tiles and Open Services are all available as part of the MapQuest SDK for Android! By simply leaving the android:apiKey attribute blank, the map and its related services will default to the Open tiles and directions, and use Nominatim for searching/geocoding. To download our documentation and samples, please refer to the following links. MapQuest Android Maps API and Android Samples API Reference Guide Don't forget to help us improve our API by sending feedback and reporting any bugs to AndroidSDK@mapquest.com. All feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
  • MapQuest Maps in Salesforce Provide Great Visualization of Business Analytics

    Did you know you can visualize your business data using MapQuest maps to help you analyze business trends? Heat maps show layers of color to represent business data, which can then be used to make business decisions. Arrowpointe, a MapQuest partner, has a new version of their Geopointe software that shows just how powerful illustrating data can be with the MapQuest Platform. Watch a video on how it works: Geopointe integrates MapQuest maps and driving directions into Salesforce . This allows end-users, administrators and developers to search Salesforce data, plot it on the map and get multiple-point driving directions. By partnering with SpatialKey, Arrowpointe took the Geopointe solutions one step farther to create an analytics solution.  Arrowpoint and SpatialKey allow Salesforce users to visualize Salesforce data including leads, opportunities, contacts and more on MapQuest maps.  This solution allows Salesforce users to gain a better understanding of their business including from where business is coming, which areas of the country are driving the most revenue as well as which are underperforming, and how lead activities are performing.