MapQuest Developer Blog

  • Dump Your Garmin

    Dump your Garmin! No, I don't mean getting rid of your Garmin, so don't go chucking it out the window just yet. I'm referring to dumping the data from the .gpx file your Garmin device utilizes to store location and route information.

    A co-worker of mine recently asked me to write an app that reads a Garmin's .gpx file and displays the waypoints and the route on a map. Never having seen a .gpx file (I'm a TomTom boy, myself) I was pretty sure it would include all the basics - lat/lng, name, etc, etc. I found what I was expecting in the file, not much to it, it's fairly simple.

    garmin gpx screen

    You can view the sample app here. Viewsource is enabled on the sample so you can see the code involved in it. To sum it up, I used an HTTPService to read the file, array collections (I know they're heavy and slow, but they're easy), and looped through the collections displaying the waypoints and route on the map. If you're at all familiar with placing POIs and routes on MapQuest's maps, the whole process is fairly simple.

    One other thing: On MapQuest.com, by using the Garmin Communicator Plug-in, you can output map and directions info into a .gpx format using the "Send to GPS" option in the "Send To" menu.

    Hope this helps some one! If you threw your Garmin out the window in the first paragraph, neither MapQuest nor I are responsible.

  • 5.3 DotNet Sample Updates

    Use the DotNet API? We've made some updates and improvements to the 5.3 DotNet Simple Samples.

    Change #1

    Previously, in order to get the samples to build, you needed to download the mapquest API DLL separately and:

    • For VB.net and C#.net, edit all the project files
    • For ASP.net, you had to add a reference to the DLL

    The current 5.3 mapquest20.dll has now been added to each package. For ASP.net, it's in a /bin subdirectory so that it will automatically be picked up as a reference.

    For VB.net and C#.net, its been added to the top level of the zip package and we've modified all the project files so that the correct location is referenced.

    In short, when you extract the samples archive and open the solution file, the DLL will already be there with a working reference.

    Change #2

    The relevant MQServers file had localhost and strange development ports settings. These files have been updated so that they default to the appropriate dev server location (e.g., map.dev.mapquest.com) and port 80.

    Change #3

    The readme.txt for the ASP.net archive to call out that the user needs to modify MQServers with your client id, password and possibly server info.

    readme.txt files were added to the VB.net and ASP.net archives.

    In general, these changes should make our dotNet samples easier to use.

  • Reminder: OpenAPI Being Retired

    Back in October we announced that we would be retiring our old OpenAPI product on Saturday, January 31st. OpenAPI was replaced almost a year ago with our easier-to-use and much more feature-rich MapQuest Platform: Free Edition.

    January 31st is rapidly approaching. If your application is still being powered by the MapQuest OpenAPI product, you will need to complete migration to one of 6 APIs available in the MapQuest Platform: Free Edition within the next two weeks.

    The MapQuest OpenAPI product servers will go offline on Saturday, January 31st, 2009. Applications not migrated off of the MapQuest OpenAPI product will stop working after this date.

    Please don't be that guy (or gal) who procrastinates and then winds up with the broken app in production.

    You can find documentation and downloads for the MapQuest Platform: Free Edition product on our Developer Network.

  • Happy Holidays from MapQuest

    Hope your Holidays are Sweet!

    Holiday Card

    Warmest Regards,
    The Staff at MapQuest

  • Meet Us at Adobe Max

    MapQuest will be attending Adobe Max next week in San Francisco. We'll be hanging out with the Adobe community and demonstrating the features and functionality of our AS3 and FUJAX APIs.

    If you're going to Adobe Max, please stop by and say "Hi!" We'll be at booth #410 in the Community Pavilion.

  • OpenAPI Product Being Retired

    At the start of the New Year, MapQuest will be retiring the MapQuest OpenAPI product, having launched the more feature rich MapQuest Platform: Free Edition product. Since the MapQuest OpenAPI does not use the same backend as our newer APIs, nor does it provide the breadth in functionality, we want to provide you with a better free experience. Don't wait - make the switch today!

    If your application is currently being powered by the MapQuest OpenAPI product, you will need to migrate to one of 6 APIs available in the MapQuest Platform: Free Edition product prior to January 31, 2009.

    Our MapQuest Platform: Free Edition product offers more flexibility and ease of development along with providing developer choice with six APIs:

    SERVER SIDE APIs

    • Java
    • C++
    • .NET

    CLIENT SIDE APIs

    • JavaScript
    • AS3 (ActionScript 3: Flash, Flex, AIR)
    • FUJAX (Write JavaScript, output Flash)

    Our MapQuest Platform: Free Edition product includes many additional features including:

    • COLLECTIONS: Support for multiple and remote collections (KML and GeoRSS); allowing easier handling of shape collections.
    • ADVANCED SHAPE OVERLAYS: Build applications that allow users to create and interact with a variety of overlays on maps, including custom lines, polygons, rectangles, and ellipses
    • CUSTOM TILE LAYER SUPPORT
    • Add REAL-TIME TRAFFIC to your map
    • GLOBE VIEW
    • AERIAL IMAGERY and HYBRID VIEWS
    • SMART ROLLOVERS: Rollover windows that adapt their size and positioning based on the content placed in the window.
    • ADVANCED MAP MARKERS: With the MapQuest "declutter mode," automatically move collided markers to positions on the map with a leader link pointing to their original location.

    The MapQuest OpenAPI product servers will go offline on Saturday, January 31st, 2009. Please plan on migrating your application before this date or applications based on the MapQuest OpenAPI product will stop working.

    You can find documentation and downloads for the MapQuest Platform: Free Edition product on our Developer Network.

    Additional information can be found on: http://platform.mapquest.com.

  • Bring Us YOUR Local Content and Feeds!

    Do you own a website with local content?

    Would you like to reach over 47M+ Unique Users every month?

    As a follow up to our initial release of MapQuest Local, we wanted to also provide some insight into our future Local plans. We know there are numerous web sites out there with rich and relevant local content that would be of interest to our users. So, we'll be opening up MapQuest to enable you to expose your content and drive traffic directly back to your site.

    If you want access to the 12th largest web site audience in the US - an audience who comes to with an interest in one or more explicit locations - bring us your feeds! Bring us your location relevant content. Bring us useful information both general and niche. If you're a venture capitalist, bring us the companies you're backing. If you're a start-up or big Internet powerhouse - let's talk. If you're a one-person operation with a pizza shop review blog: that's great content! We want to hear from you.

    We're already working with our next set of partners for relevant content to MapQuest Local for the next batch of widgets, want to join too?

    If you're interested in being a part of the wave of content on MapQuest Local, visit this sign-up form. Locations are much more than a red star on a map. With your help, we're looking forward to bringing a more Local experience to all MapQuest visitors.

    - Your MapQuest Local Team

  • And Now for Something Completely Different

    So you may be looking at that MapQuest map embedded in your site or one of thousands of other sites who also use the MapQuest Platform and thinking: "Is something different today?"

    Your powers of observation have not failed you! But what could it be that's changed? Tough one, I know.

    Have you figured it out yet? The answer is perhaps right in front of you or on the top of this page?

    Yeah, we totally got a new logo.

    Maps all over the globe are now sporting the new MapQuest logo as part of a rollout which began this morning. There's plenty of details over on our sister blog for MapQuest.com, as well as announcements on a bunch of new beta features that released with the new branding.

    We hope you like the new look!

  • Other Ways to Track MapQuest

    So you're reading this, which means you either follow our RSS feed, check in on the blog directly, or happened to land here looking for something (which we hope you found BTW). What you might not know is that we have a few other ways to keep tabs on MapQuest news and happenings for both the Developer Blog you're reading and the MapQuest.com Blog:

  • Got Flash 10?

    One of the challenges all web developers face is future versions of platforms your application runs on. When a new browser or in this case version 10 of the Adobe Flash Player is on the horizon, it's good to run your application against it to see if any changes will need to be made before the new version goes to production and screens across the Web light up with messages of "An upgrade is available."

    We've recently launched an unsupported version of our AS3 API for those of you working with Flash 10. Some developers have found that our 5.3 release and it's version checking of the Flash Player would cause errors to be thrown. This unsupported release (5.3.1_U) fixes that.

    For the curious, it's an unsupported build because the Flash 10 player is still in development. This update will however allow you to run and test your applications on Flash 10 using the MapQuest AS3 API.

    Oh, one other note: 5.3.1_U also was built for Adobe Flex 3 and AIR.

    We also have unsupported versions of our C++ API for Mac OSX 10.5 (Intel) and a PHP API. You can download them on our Unsupported Tools page.