MapQuest Developer Blog

  • Bon Secours Health System Saves Time and Money for Mobile Caregivers Using MapQuest for Business

    Bon Secours Health SystemWith more than 500 therapists, social workers, nurses, home health aides and hospice workers visiting up to six patients per day, Bon Secours Health System logs millions of miles each year. Thanks to the integration of the MapQuest for Business Directions API with Bon Secours' electronic medical record (EMR) system, daily routes are no longer derived through time-consuming, manual processes.

    Quality Care for Nearly 200 Years

    Founded in 1824 as a ministry of Catholic sisters aiding the sick and dying in Paris, France, the Sisters of Bon Secours established their first U.S. hospital nearly 100 years later in Baltimore, Maryland. Bon Secours now employs more than 25,000 medical professionals at nearly 30 facilities spanning six states on the Eastern Seaboard.

    Bon Secours offers 14 home care and hospice services, provided by its team of more than 500 therapists, social workers, nurses, home health aides and hospice workers. Each employee typically visits four to six patients every day, adding up to nearly 50,000 visits per month, or more than half a million patient visits per year.

    Challenges:

    • Eliminate costly and time-consuming manual routing of more than half a million visits per year.
    • Improve the efficiency of daily routes by finding the most effective course of travel with many stops.
    • Reduce unnecessary time and mileage reimbursement, saving on travel costs.

    Looking to Spend More Time with Patients

    These caregivers were spending countless hours performing manual, time-consuming map routing every day using mapping websites and printouts. Often the results offered inefficient routes and Bon Secours recognized that all the time spent searching and driving less-than-optimal routes could be better spent assisting patients.

    A Prescription for MapQuest

    In the summer of 2016, Bon Secours integrated the MapQuest Directions API into their EMR system, helping to automatically route caregivers on the most time-efficient routes throughout their day. Caregivers not only save time by accessing their daily routes in the system they were accustomed to, they also save time on the road.

    Seamless, Flexible and Easy

    According to Bon Secours Application Coordinator Erin Whitehead, the implementation of our Directions API was completely painless. "MapQuest has been very easy and flexible to work with," said Whitehead. "Their technology was the only technology we could find to integrate with our EMR system, and implementation was seamless. Our caregivers really like it because it's so easy to use."

    "MapQuest has been very easy and flexible to work with," said Whitehead. "Their technology was the only technology we could find to integrate with our EMR system, and implementation was seamless. Our caregivers really like it because it's so easy to use."


    - Bon Secours Application Coordinator, Whitehead

    Today, Bon Secours enjoys several benefits from our Directions API:

    • Elimination of manual, time-consuming daily routing
    • Improved efficiency of daily routes to save caregivers time and mileage
    • Cost savings by the elimination of manual routing

  • CompanyMileage Saves Mobile Health Providers Millions with MapQuest for Business

    CompanyMileageGeocoding millions of patient addresses each month was once a challenge for Dallas, Texas-based CompanyMileage, due to inaccuracies with the company's previous geospatial service provider. This was of utmost concern for the company, whose mobile health provider client base relies upon CompanyMileage to precisely pinpoint patient locations and accurately track mileage. Since switching from a previous geospatial service provider to MapQuest for Business in 2012, the company's geocode inaccuracies and inflexible contract terms are now a thing of the past.

    Cracking the code

    Founded in 2009, CompanyMileage develops a mobile application used by home health and hospice caregivers throughout the U.S. and Canada. More than 100,000 users complete millions of patient visits each month, using CompanyMileage to accurately log mileage to submit for reimbursement. For some customers, annual mileage reimbursement can total millions of dollars per year.

    CompanyMileage screen shot

    A bumpy road with an alternate geospatial service provider

    Objectives:

    • Precisely geocode patient locations, even in the most rural areas, within the CompanyMileage mobile app.
    • Enable location-aware 'type-ahead' capability to save users from having to key in their full address.
    • Accurately track mileage traveled to and from millions of patient locations monthly.
    • Access live phone support from the geospatial service provider when needed.

    When the company began to ship its mileage tracking mobile app with location services from another geospatial service provider in 2011, the company's founder, Kevin Winters, noticed issues with the accuracy of geocode results. Rural addresses weren't recognized, and address suggestions failed to incorporate the proximity of the user's current location when providing a suggestion. "A user would enter '100 Main St.' and the app would suggest a location in Miami even though the user was in Dallas," Winters recalled. In addition, pricing with CompanyMileage's original geospatial service provider was doubling every year. CompanyMileage grew frustrated with poor customer support and slow response time from their previous provider. "With our previous location services provider, I never received live support from a person on the phone," Winters lamented. He knew it was time for a change.

    A long-term relationship with MapQuest for Business

    In 2012, CompanyMileage switched to MapQuest for Business as their single geospatial provider. "We chose MapQuest because they give us a great product, great customer service and fair pricing terms," said Winters. "MapQuest's Geocoding API was easy to implement, and we were able to make the switch quickly."

    More than five years later, Winters remains pleased with his decision to switch to MapQuest. "We're looking to continue to build our long-term relationship with MapQuest. The contract terms are transparent and consistent. Support has been incredible, with immediate responses via email and access to live support whenever we need it."

    In terms of product capabilities, accuracy and performance, Winters is equally pleased. "MapQuest provides us with a better scoring system to build address validation rules around, providing a better user experience for our customers," said Winters. Since switching from the company's previous provider, remote location accuracy is no longer an issue.

    "Our customers saved approximately $18 million last year, due to increased mileage tracking accuracy thanks to MapQuest."

    --Founder, CompanyMileage, Winters

    Today the company's user base logs seven million trips per month. "Our customers saved approximately $18 million last year, due to increased mileage tracking accuracy thanks to MapQuest," said Winters. "One of our customers performed their own comparison and calculated nearly $2 million in savings, and another customer of ours calculated a 25% reduction in mileage reimbursement due to increased accuracy," he added.

  • MapQuest for Business Enables Safe, Reliable Furniture Deliveries

    Retail Architects

    With 20 million furniture deliveries per year, accurate and reliable geocoding and directions was imperative. Enter MapQuest for Business. Retail Architects is a Ft. Mill, N.C.-based developer of Loft, a retail management software product used by top 100 furniture retailers. Since partnering with MapQuest for Business in 2013, retailers enjoy reliable and accurate mapping and routing for all their deliveries.

    Retail ArchitectsDelivering 'Pizzazz' to Replace Antiquated Systems

    Jerry Neville and his partners founded Retail Architects in 2010 with the hopes of building a better system for major furniture retailers to manage inventory, point-of-sale, accounting and deliveries. "Existing systems were so antiquated," Neville said. "We wanted to build a better system with entirely new functionality and 'pizzazz.' We figured popping up a map with the customer's address would add some 'wow' factor."

    Neville built Loft with embedded geospatial technology to help retailers locate customer addresses on a map, verify addresses for delivery accuracy and fraud detection, and provide turn-by-turn directions to delivery crews.

    Objectives:

    • Pinpoint and display customer addresses on a map.
    • Verify addresses for fraud detection.
    • Provide turn-by-turn directions for delivery crews.
    • Reduce geospatial technology costs with flexible and scalable pricing arrangements.

    Kicking the Former Provider to the Curb

    Neville soon realized the shortcomings of his original geospatial services provider. Specifically, pricing and customer service fell short of Neville's expectations. "They didn't care about what we were doing," Neville said. "We were a drop in the ocean to them and we couldn't even get someone to talk to us on the phone," he recalled of his previous provider. "When we exceeded our API usage limits, they went nuts with pricing," Neville added. Retail Architects simply couldn't continue down that same road.

    An Effortless Switch to MapQuest for Business

    "I had always preferred MapQuest for personal use," Neville said. "So integrating MapQuest's APIs into Loft just made sense. It was a painless transition for us and their support team was there every step of the way."

    Retail Architects user interface, powered by MapQuestWith 1,000 retail stores using Loft to make millions of furniture deliveries per year, Retail Architects utilizes several MapQuest APIs including Geocoding API, Directions API, Map Tile Plugin for Leaflet and Traffic API.

    "Frankly, the level of attention from MapQuest is much, much better than what we were getting from our previous provider. MapQuest actually knows who we are, and we can get their knowledgeable people on the phone whenever we need them."

    - Retail Architects CEO, Neville

    Since switching to MapQuest, Retail Architects not only has the geospatial APIs they need, but they also receive flexible, scalable pricing terms and superior customer service. "Frankly, the level of attention from MapQuest is much, much better than what we were getting from our previous provider," Neville said. "MapQuest took the time to get to know us, and we can get their knowledgeable team on the phone whenever we need them."

  • FlyCleaners Cleans New York City with MapQuest

    FlyCleanersCleaning over 5 million pounds of New York City's laundry is one dirty job. But in an industry that hasn't seen much innovation over the years, the New York-based startup, FlyCleaners, saw an opportunity to turn the industry inside out with the latest in mobile and geospatial technology. From its inception, FlyCleaners integrated MapQuest for Business APIs to build a company FlyCleaners mobile appthat brings laundry and dry cleaning into the modern world of smartphones and on-demand services consumers have grown accustomed to using.

    Cracking the Code

    Promising 20-minute laundry pickup and delivery in the world's second largest city – and the country's third most congested – is no small task. Founded in 2013, FlyCleaners has cracked the code in New York's ever-sleepy laundry and dry cleaning delivery service industry. With more than 100 drivers, the company serves consumers and many of the city's small businesses such as salons, spas, gyms, and restaurants.

    Objectives:

    • Geocode users' locations within the FlyCleaners mobile app.
    • Enable location-aware 'type-ahead' capability to save users from having to key in their full address.
    • Use routing data to help determine the most efficient driver and route for an on-demand pickup request.

    Mapping out the Business From Day One

    From its very outset, FlyCleaners identified the need for reliable, accurate and cost-effective geolocation APIs to support the company's on-demand laundry and dry cleaning app. Without such APIs, FlyCleaners simply wouldn't fly. The company needed a way to geolocate customer addresses, locate drivers in the area and select the most optimal driver to pickup and delivery locations – while also factoring in traffic, construction and other variables.

    A Clean Sweep Solution

    In 2013, FlyCleaners began the process of evaluating mapping API providers. "We evaluated several options, including buying our own maptech data," said FlyCleaners' Chief Technology Officer, Eric Small. "MapQuest had the right set of capabilities and licensing requirements for our needs," Small added. "It was a clean sweep for us."

    FlyCleaners runs on MapQuestFlyCleaners uses MapQuest's Geocoding API to determine mobile app user's location. FlyCleaners also uses the Search Ahead API to make it quick and easy for customers to enter their location by adding only the first few characters of an address, and then displaying suggested addresses based on the customer's location.

    MapQuest's Directions API is leveraged to identify all the drivers in the vicinity of a pickup request, upon which FlyCleaners applies its own proprietary algorithm to intelligently select the most ideal driver for the pickup, based on traffic conditions, construction, the driver's travel path and other factors.

    "MapQuest's Geocoding API is a core piece of technology for our business."

    - Chief Technology Officer, FlyCleaners, Small

    "MapQuest's Geocoding API is a core piece of technology for our business," said Small. "It was part of the genesis of the company and we've been very happy with it. Our users like it and we couldn't do what we do without it."

  • Retirement Announcement: JavaScript Maps API, June 5, 2018

    MapQuest will be retiring our JavaScript Maps API (Licensed & Open) on June 5, 2018, a little less than one year away.

    Don't worry, we aren't leaving you in the dark. We're thrilled to suggest a migration plan to our newly released JavaScript SDK library, MapQuest.js.

    What is MapQuest.js?

    MapQuest.js, the successor to our Leaflet Plugins, provides all of the power of the MapQuest geospatial platform combined with the elegance of the open-source Leaflet mapping library. Seamless integration with MapQuest's APIs allows easy interaction with the geocoding, directions, traffic, and search-ahead services, both with and without a map.

    Professional Services Migration Packages

    We understand that migrating could be challenging and takes ample time. Because of this, we're pleased to offer a variety of professional services migration packages at a discounted rate of $150 per hour to help ease your transition.

    Ready to get started? Package features dependent upon your level of need (click to expand):

    Don't wait until the last minute. Review our migration guide or contact us at support@mapquest.com, and we're happy to get you set up with a member from our professional services team to start the migration to MapQuest.js.

  • Announcement: MapQuest.js Public Release

    We're excited to announce the release of the successor to our Leaflet Plugins, MapQuest.js! Built with Leaflet v1.1.0 integration, MapQuest.js provides all of the power of the MapQuest geospatial platform combined with the elegance of the open-source Leaflet mapping library. Seamless integration with MapQuest's APIs allows easy interaction with the geocoding, directions, traffic, and search-ahead services, both with and without a map.

    Leverage proven MapQuest APIs with new flexibility and more features:

    With new simplified interfaces, you can create and configure interactive maps with many new features. Instantly choose from light, dark, satellite, or hybrid map tiles with zoom levels from 0 to 20 and utilize OpenStreetMap or licensed MapQuest datasets.

    MapQuest.js provides all of the standard Leaflet controls, as well as our own MapQuest- designed controls, ultimately helping you code faster and more efficiently.

    • MapQuest.js Controls:
      Want to add some of the features of https://mapquest.com to your own map? The MapQuest control adds zoom, locator, satellite tiles, and traffic integration to your map with a simple and clean interface. Other controls include the new geocoding and directions controls.

    Use proven MapQuest APIs from inside a new flexible JavaScript library:

    • Icon Service:
      Access all icons from the popular MapQuest icons API. Standard and customized icons, flags with labels, standard or retina resolution.
    • Geocoding:
      Tap into our industry leading MapQuest geocoder to do forward, reverse, or batch geocoding. Tap into OpenStreetMap data or MapQuest licensed datasets.
    • Search Ahead:
      Use autocomplete for prediction-based searches with the geocoding control with search ahead.
    • Traffic:
      Include the traffic layer for real-time traffic incidents and construction. Icon popups add more details and three levels of severity.

    MapQuest.js is lightweight. Pick the footprint and the library you need for your specific application:

    • MapQuest.js: The full library with Leaflet v1.1.0 included. This solution requires only the MapQuest.js JavaScript and CSS resources to begin development.
    • MapQuest-core.js: The core library lets you use a specific version of Leaflet. MapQuest-core.js includes the MapQuest integrations of the full library, but without Leaflet built-in. Simply add your specific version of Leaflet's JavaScript and CSS tags before including MapQuest-core.js and you can use the Leaflet version of your choice.
    • MapQuest-maps.js: A smaller version of MapQuest.js with a focus on mapping. The maps library removes some of the MapQuest API integrations in favor of being a lightweight and maps-only focused version.

    For more information, visit our documentation for code and visual examples. And, post your follow-up questions or feature requests in our forum.

  • MapQuest.js Directions Now in Beta

    We're at it again! We've added to our new JavaScript library and you can now interface with our Directions API using MapQuest.js. Our team has worked hard to simplify the API to help minimize the number of routing functions and help you get ramped up faster than before.

    • Interface with our Directions API through MapQuest.js and create a route from point A to point B.
    • Add traffic along the route quickly and easily.

    • Include waypoints to a route and create multi-point routes.
    • Optimize up to 23 waypoints by time and mileage.

    • Include our new pop-ups with the mileage and time estimates for alternative routes.

    Javascript Library, Directions API

    • Add your own flair and customize the icons for the start and finish along with the route ribbon.

    Javascript Library, Directions API

    Now route yourself over our documentation page and start testing out our most recent beta release to our new JavaScript library — MapQuest.js. Keep us in the loop and let us know what you think about it!

  • Baron Services Powers Weather App with MapQuest for Business

    Baron Services, Inc.Do you remember that last weather alert you received on your mobile phone? There's a good chance it came from Baron Services' weather app, powered by MapQuest for Business. If you're one of the millions of users of local television stations' private-labeled weather apps powered by Baron, MapQuest for Business helps to determine if you're in the path of severe weather.

    It's all about the weather

    Huntsville Alabama-based Baron Services is a leader in weather intelligence data. Baron partners with a wide array of customers spanning from television to the U.S. military and foreign governments. At any given time, thousands of general aviation pilots even depend on Baron for weather data needed to circumvent potentially dangerous flight conditions.

    A critical need for location accuracy

    Due to issues with reliability and accuracy with Baron's previous provider, Baron looked to replace its geocoding APIs in 2012. Since severe weather can be extremely isolated to a very small geographic area, location accuracy is of utmost importance. People at risk of being in the direct path of hazardous weather need ample warning, while those outside the path don't need false alarms that might cause them to question forecast accuracy. Baron Services' Software Department Manager, Sherman Wilcox, reflects on the importance of geocoding accuracy in their apps, "Whether it's a tornado warning, flash flood, lightning or other severe weather, when we send out an alert it's extremely important that the people in the path of that weather get notified. That's where location accuracy is critical." 

    Powered by MapQuest for Business

    After an extensive search, Baron chose MapQuest for Business as their new geocoding provider. According to Wilcox, "MapQuest is better and much more accurate than our previous provider." MapQuest geocodes user addresses within Baron's apps, translating even the most rural address into latitude and longitudinal coordinates, which are used in meteorological data. The end result is that users know exactly whether they or their loved ones are in the path of any significant weather system.

    Enabling 'narrowcasting' to specific users

    Chief Meteorologist Dave Freeman, with KSNW TV in Wichita, KansasIn a video on Baron's website, Chief Meteorologist Dave Freeman, with KSNW TV in Wichita, Kan., commented on the precision of the location data in Baron's application, saying that it is "highly-specific; with geofencing you are able to target the people in the path of dangerous weather conditions – and only those people. So it is very much, 'narrowcasting' critical information to just the people who need to know about it."

    A wise decision

    Wilcox is very pleased with his decision to be using our Geocoding API. "MapQuest is a good company to work with – they're very reliable and have excellent customer service. I can't ask for much more than that. I would definitely recommend MapQuest to anyone looking for similar geocoding capabilities."

  • Street Fight Summit: Debunking Location Inaccuracies ​​​​​​​

    Recently, we had the opportunity to attend Street Fight's annual Street Fight Summit in New York City as gold sponsors. The conference, which occurred from June 12-14, focuses on all things hyper local marketing.

    MapQuest was on hand to promote our newly acquired SocialRadar point of interest (POI) dataset, as well as hand out awesome swag: t-shirts, water bottles, stickers and more. Word on the street is that we have some pretty killer swag.

    Our Director of Business Development & Product - SocialRadar, Philippe Chetrit, also presented on the current pitfalls facing the location industry.

    If you're interested in learning about why low-fidelity points of interest data won't cut it anymore, how SocialRadar debunks common location industry myths and why it matters for marketing professionals, check out his presentation here.

    If you're interested in learning more about our robust and highly accurate SocialRadar POIs, reach out to us at sales@mapquest.com.

  • MapQuest.js Geocoding & Search Ahead Now in Beta

    Did you hear? A few weeks ago we announced the successful beta launch of MapQuest.js. As we build out our new JavaScript library, you'll be able to interface with additional MapQuest APIs. Geocoding and Search Ahead are now in beta and accessible through MapQuest.js.

    Geocoding

    • Interface with our Geocoding API to complete forward, reverse or batch geocode requests.
    • Add geocoding to your JavaScript application and decide to either display results on a map or simply store the results without showing them on a map. (Extended Rights Geocoding license is required)
    • Easily tap into OpenStreetMap data or MapQuest's licensed data, the choice is yours.

    Search Ahead

    • Interface with our Search Ahead API for autocomplete-like search results that returns predictions based on your location.
    • Add a search bar to your map with our Geocoding control and interactively geocode or find search results on the fly.
    • Access addresses, airports or adminAreas using the API. If you're interested in premium POI data, contact us.

    View more in depth details on Geocoding and Search Ahead for MapQuest.js to get started and let us know what you think.