MapQuest Developer Blog

  • JavaScript SDK 6.0 Beta: Now with iPhone Events

    iPhone ScreenshotWe've had a lot of excitement this month with multiple launches and cool projects. We wanted to make sure that we also highlight our recently updated JavaScript 6.0 SDK Beta. In the latest build, we've got some great additions to the feature set:

    • Overlay support, including CircleOverlay for quickly showing a radius
    • Routes can now be run without needing a map
    • Wrapper functions for easy access to the Directions Web Service RouteMatrix call

    The big new feature this time is support for iPhone/Mobile Safari events such as pinchToZoom. When Mobile Safari is detected, the support module is automatically included, registering touch events.

    In a few lines of code, you can also take advantage of the geolocation services in the device and default your map the the user's location.

      function(position) {
            lat:  position.coords.latitude,
            lng:  position.coords.longitude

    More news and announcements coming soon. Stay tuned.

  • We Love L.A.! Meet Us at Adobe Max!

    In addition to auditioning for sitcoms at the studios, MapQuest will be at the Adobe Max conference in Los Angeles, October 4th-7th. We'll be talking to developers, showing demos of our MapQuest Platform using the current 5.3 AS3 SDK and our upcoming 6.0 SDK (currently in Beta). My colleague Ant will also be demonstrating his ability to cry on cue for any casting directors in attendance.

    We've also partnered with Adobe to power an Interactive Map of the area. The MapQuest-built Adobe Max Locator application will show conference goers nearby restaurants, hotels, conference shuttle locations, and other hot spots near the Los Angeles Convention Center, home to this year's event.

    Adobe Max Locator

    If you're heading to Adobe Max, stop by and say "Hi!" We'll be in Community Pavilion Booth #843, sitting next to you in the Sessions, or in line to audition for the parts of "Guys in Background" for an upcoming episode of "How I Met Your Mother."

  • Geocoding and Static Map Web Services Now In Beta

    In recent weeks we've had a string of updates talking about new services and features we've been working on. Today we've got two new Web Services we're releasing into beta and a feature update for the Beta Directions Web Service.

    Geocoding Web Service

    We're jazzed to release the Geocoding Web Service into beta. You can now make a simple request containing an address and the service will return a latitude and longitude.

    You can also make a request containing the Latitude and longitude and we'll tell you the address of that location.

    Static Map Web Service

    While interactive and draggable maps are useful for many things, sometimes a good ol' single map image is what's needed for your application. While we've made these maps available for well over a decade, you can now build them using our new Static Map Web Service. This allows you to easily create, configure, and return a map image. this includes adding POI icons, traffic data, or shapes to you maps.

    This also means you can easily embed a map into any web page without writing or embedding any code. Just insert the map like any other image.

    static map

    Directions Web Service

    Powered by our new Static Map Web Service, you can now return a static map image for each maneuver of a route narrative. Like on, this will allow you to show your users a map containing additional detail of the transition to their route.

    maneuver map

    More information is available on our Developer Network Beta page and included in the MapQuest Platform: Web Services Documentation.

  • The Blog Post Referring to the Other Post Soliciting for SXSW Panel Votes

    Vote for our PanelPicker Ideas! MapQuest is on the road to Austin, Texas - hopefully to speak on panels at SXSW Interactive. Over on our sister blog for, we've got an overview of the two panels we're stumping for votes:

    The Blog Post Where We Solicit for 2010 SXSW Interactive Panel Votes

    If you already know how SXSW works and want to jump straight to the voting, here's the panel info:

    Thanks for the PanelPicker votes and see you in Austin!

  • Big Beta Updates: Fun Globes, Colorful Stars, Zooming Mice, Chunked URLs and More

    So we have a bonanza of beta and preview updates to share with you. We've been busy making a number of updates to the MapQuest Platform and we've been creating new Web Services and revising our client-side SDKs.

    Here's what we've got to show you today:

    AS3 SDK 6.0 - NEW!

    We're happy to introduce the preview release of our AS3 SDKs, Version 6.0. This rewrite makes the SDK more modular, create smaller final .swfs, and add and improve a number of new features like:

    • POI Decluttering Refactored
    • globe view / ocean breeze controls screenOur popular Globe View has been refactored and made a separate component. We've even added a handy feature to let the globe reorient itself when you've turned your world upside-down.
    • New Control Component style (Ocean Breeze) to match the ones available on
    • Raster images are now remotely loaded. So your application only pulls in what's needed
    • Overview map control added
    • Mouse-wheel zoom controls and keyboard controls added
    • We've added a vector-based POI star. It's scalable and color-customizable too.

    vector stars

    Download and check out samples from our Beta page.

    JavaScript SDKs 6.0 - UPDATED!

    In this update, we've added:

    • Route Options for tailoring your route
    • Toggle Route Dragging on and off
    • Basic mouse wheel support for zooming

    Check out the updated documentation and samples here.

    Long URL Web Service - NEW!

    Today also marks the introduction of a new service which will allow you to manage large GET requests in Internet Explorer, which can't handle them. While we've put a lot of effort into making our URLs smaller and sane to the human eye, there are still scenarios where a complex request can get pretty beefy. Our new Long URL Web Service will automatically chunk-up the request and still be able to use a JSONP callback in the response.

    Directions Web Service - UPDATED!

    In our fourth feature release, we've now added draggable routes to the service. You now have the option of adding draggable routes through the Directions Web Service or our JavaScript SDK 6.0.

    We've also added a Route Shape feature. This will allow you to return a route shape from a previous request without have to re-run the route.

    Even more features and updates are in the works. Stay Tuned.

  • MapQuest Platform: JavaScript SDK 6.0 Preview Release with Draggable Routes

    Today we've released a preview of our upcoming 6.0 version of the MapQuest Platform: JavaScript SDK. This version release is a complete overhaul of the code base and designed to be more modular, more lightweight, and easier-to-use code. We've also simplified our documentation, making it easier to follow and reference and complete with inline samples and source-code snippets.

    One notable feature in this initial release is that Draggable Route functionality is included. This will allow developers to build applications that let their users dynamically edit their directions right from the map.

    drag route screenshot

    Find out more information on our Developer Network Beta Page, and we welcome your feedback.

  • Directions Web Service Beta Adds Route Matrix Feature

    Last week we pushed out Optimized Routing to our Directions Web Service beta. The week before that we introduced our new Directions Web Service. Today we're making the Route Matrix feature available.

    A Route Matrix request in the Directions Web Service will return a quick and easy calculation of the distances and drive times between a bunch of points.

    In the table below, we want to compare the times and distances between:

    • York, PA
    • Lancaster, PA
    • Boalsburg, PA
    • and Sunbury, PA

    You'd ask the Directions Web Service something like this:

        REQUEST URL:
           locations: [
              "York, PA",
              "Lancaster, PA",
              "Boalsburg, PA",
              "Sunbury, PA"
           options: {
              allToAll: true

    And with the results, you could display something like this:

    Driving distance (in miles)

    York, PA Lancaster, PA Boalsburg, PA Sunbury, PA
    York, PA 0.00 25.68 107.85 78.45
    Lancaster, PA 25.92 0.00 120.64 91.25
    Boalsburg, PA 107.42 120.94 0.00 62.48
    Sunbury, PA 78.84 92.36 61.80 0.00

    Driving times (in seconds)

    York, PA Lancaster, PA Boalsburg, PA Sunbury, PA
    York, PA 0 2260 7253 5930
    Lancaster, PA 2348 0 7771 6448
    Boalsburg, PA 7350 7816 0 5098
    Sunbury, PA 6048 6514 5019 0

    Check out the complete documentation for Route Matrix and the rest of the Directions Web Service Beta and please continue to send us your feedback.

  • Premium Data Sets Now Available

    For our Enterprise Edition users, we've just introduced Premium Data Sets. This allows easy integration of location-based point, boundary, and demographic data into your application.

    New York Median Income
    New York Median Income

    Premium Data Sets include:

    • US Boundaries
      • Parcels
      • City, County & State
      • ZIP codes
      • Neighborhoods
      • School districts
      • Core Based Statistical Areas, including Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
      • Congressional Districts
    • US Census Data (2000)
      • Broken down by Block, Group, Tract, ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA), City, County & State
      • Over 400 Categories to choose
    • Premium Business Listings
      • 13+ million US and 2+ million Canada Business Listings
    • US Public School Locations
      • Over 102,000 public schools
    • US Traffic
      • Incident and Flow data

    Existing customers should contact your MapQuest Sales Account Manager or email to enable access.

    If you don't already have access to the MapQuest Platform, sign-up for a free Developer License, then email

    Denver Parcel Data
    Denver Parcel Data
    New York ZIP Code Data
    New York ZIP Code Data
    San Francisco Neighborhoods
    San Francisco Neighborhoods
  • Directions Web Service Beta: Optimized Routing Options Added for Optional Optimal Directions

    We recently announced the beta of our new Directions Web Service for the MapQuest Platform; today we want to tell you that the team just added Optimized Routing functionality to the code.

    If you're not familiar with Optimized Routing, it basically works like this:

    Say the users of the app you've built using the Directions Web Service plug in a bunch of places they need to go. They have the addresses, but aren't really familiar with how far away all of these stops are from each other. With Optimized Routing, all of the stops between the first and last are reordered for the shortest overall distance or drive time.

    Now it is still a work in progress, so keep in mind that Optimized Routing is designed for use on locations that are relatively nearby to each other (e.g.: delivery or repair services, planning a tour of open houses, etc.) It will attempt to optimize longer distances, but to meet performance limits, it may estimate the drive time calculation. This could lead to a less than optimally optimized route.

    If you haven't yet checked out the Developer's Guide to the beta Web Directions Service, please do so and give us your thoughts and feedback.

    Also, thanks for all the Directions Web Service mentions on the blogs and on Twitter. We are paying attention to your feedback and comments and appreciate the support. We also dig that you enjoy the phrase "sane and modern web service" as much as we do.

    More features are on the way. Stay tuned.

  • Our New Directions Web Service Goes to Beta, Not the Moon

    Today we're celebrating "One small step for man..." However, it turns out that it's the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landing we're celebrating, not today's beta release of our new Directions Web Service. Well I say: "Why can't we celebrate both?"

    And while you'll likely never set foot on the Moon, you can check out our first beta of our new MapQuest Platform: Directions Web Service right now. We've taken our decades worth of routing technology and know-how and have been rewriting it into a sane and modern web service that's easy to use.

    How easy?<your app key here>&from=Lancaster,PA&to=York,PA&callback=renderNarrative

    This simple request will return a JSONP response containing the directions narrative data and then fires the defined JavaScript callback function in your app. You then have the flexibility to display the information in your UI however you want.

    Yes, that easy.

    Some other tidbits of useful information regarding our Directions Web Service:

    • The service will utilize the following formats:
      • Key-Value pairs submitted via HTTP GET or POST
      • JSON
      • XML
      • ...and more formats are in the works. Check the Developer Network Beta page for updates.
    • The format supplied does not have to match the format requested either. Send us XML but ask for a JSON response. Mix and Match to fit the needs of your application.
    • You can make your Directions requests as simple or as advanced as you'd like
    • If there's an ambiguity in one of the locations, we will return a list of location choices or you can opt for us to take the first location and just return your directions
    • You can return the full route shape or in a performance encoded format for size
    • road shield The response returns the image URIs of the road shields, making it easy to manage how and where you display them
    • More functionality, such as route matrix and optimized routing will be available in future beta updates

    All the details are in the Directions Web Service Documentation, which we've also baked right into the service.

    One important thing to note: You need to use a Developer License key in order to use beta services. There is no-cost associated with using a Developer License. Signup here.

    I was going to close out this post with something, like "It's out of this world," but it's probably a bit cheesy, ya'know, like the stuff the Moon is made out of. How about you check it out and let us know what you think instead?