MapQuest Developer Blog

  • 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.
  • Flash Maps API on Your Mobile Device!

    If you're reading this, you've likely been following our Flash Maps API and Open Flash Maps API. Well today, we're here to announce the initial beta release of our newest Flash product, the Mobile Flash Maps API!! [caption id="attachment_1496" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Pinch zooming, larger icons and larger close buttons are just a few ways in which the Mobile Flash Maps API has been optimized for mobile devices."]Mobile Flash Maps API Screenshot[/caption] Thanks to Adobe's release of the Flex and Flash Builder 4.5.1 SDK, we're able to provide the same cross-platform mobile capabilities in our Mobile Flash Maps API. As a result, the API is able to support development of iOS, Android and Blackberry Tablet applications using the same code base.  That's right, code once, deploy everywhere! This release of the Mobile Flash Maps API contains the vast majority of the functionality found in our Flash Maps API and has also been optimized for mobile application development. Key features are listed below.
    • Pinch-to-Zoom: Multi-touch gestures now supported for zooming
    • Larger POI Icons: Default POI icons have been increased in size to aid in touch gestures on mobile devices
    • Larger Close Buttons: InfoWindow close buttons have also been enlarged to allow for easier touching
    • Mapping: Use a drag and drop Tilemap Component for the Flash Builder IDE, or a pure ActionScript TileMap object
    • Geocoding: Basic geocoding, batch geocoding and reverse geocoding
    • Routing: Textual driving directions, route ribbons for map display, and route shapes for drawing your own route ribbons
    • Searching: Radius, polygon, rectangle searching, etc
    • Traffic: View current traffic conditions, including traffic incidents and ongoing construction
    To start developing your own mobile application using the Mobile Flash Maps API, please visit MapQuest Beta APIs and SDKs where you can download the API and the source code to a sample application. And remember, this is still beta and we'd love it if you can provide some feedback at flashapibeta@mapquest.com, on the Mobile Flash Maps API Beta Forums or @MapQuestTech if you can squeeze it within 140 characters!
  • MapQuest JavaScript API version 7 released!

    This week is exciting, we should have several things to announce. First up, version 7 of our JavaScript Mapping API has been released. This release features expanded mobile support, updated map controls, better documentation and for you geonerds out there, a special treat - MapQuest now is on the Mercator projection. Mobile Support We support iOS and Android with version 7, and we expect this list to expand over the coming months. Additionally, we've expanded our event handling on mobile devices to enable interaction such as touchable POIs. Mobile mapping is a major focus going forward, so this is just the beginning. Updated Map Controls Including Geolocation Yes, the beautiful map controls featured on MapQuest.com are now available through our API. Plus, you get a bonus control that we have not exposed on MapQuest.com. The waving man! Click him and he automatically centers the map based on the W3C Geolocation Specification implemented in many of the latest browsers. Additionally, you can add a custom handler to perform some task after you've been geolocated: find the closest store, reverse geocode, etc. Here's a sample using geolocation with a reverse geocode. Better Documentation Is there anything more frustrating that trying to develop something with incomplete or incorrect documentation? We feel your pain. Our goal is to make working with the MapQuest Platform easy, so we've added "try it now" features to all of our docs, allowing you to edit the code in the browser and see the result. Plus, we're expanding our samples and pages, including the new Customize the Map Interface page for all those folks who like to put their own look on the map controls or info bubbles. Nerd Alert Changing our projection to Mercator might not seem like a big deal, but to those who might have struggled overlaying data, it will greatly simplify using our maps with other systems. On the API side, we're continually streamlining to simplify development. You'll notice a new map constructor object with an easy way to initialize the map based on specific points - just pass the collection object to the constructor. For all you version 6 users, upgrading to version 7 is as easy as changing the version string in your JS include URL! This is just the beginning...please stay tuned for further updates by following the blog or our Twitter feed (@MapQuestTech). Follow me at @MapQuestRoman. Next up...a way to code once and deploy mobile apps with stunning maps to iOS, Android and Blackberry! Impossible you say?