In September, our calendar looked eerily similar to a Tetris board. We sponsored two national hackathons and had outstanding turnouts at both. Those hackathons included:
At both Hackathon events, more than 100 developers hacked our APIs and SDKs, with 31 team submissions at TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. We provided free on-site tutorials and guidance from our top developers, provided 500 cups of coffee, gave away 300 water bottles and raffled off 3 snazzy Timbuk2 backpacks.
We, also, produced this quick and awesome TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon recap video. Take a gander now:
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, MapQuest will retire our Long URL Web Service. As browsers have matured to allow longer GET requests and applications can POST larger amounts of data, there is far less demand for our Long URL Web Service. Therefore, the service will not be replaced after January 10, 2017.If you have any questions regarding the retirement of Long URL Web Service, please reach out to our technical support team via our forums.
On August 25th, 2016 MapQuest released a new feature - the ability to add additional transactions to monthly self-service plans. It's exactly like overtime minutes for your mobile phone plan. If you opt into the Overages plan (the default choice for new customers) your transactions never stop, even when you reach 100% of your monthly transactions total. Instead, you will be billed in 10% usage blocks until you reach 150% of your quota. When you reach 150% (for most plans) you will automatically be upgraded to the next higher plan. This is helpful when you launch new services of your own that are rapidly growing. It's also helpful for customers who occasionally go over the monthly transactions limit during a particularly busy time. It's your choice to opt in, and you can stop overages at any time. Many customers have asked for this feature and we are excited to announce it is now shipping.
Here's how it works:
When you sign up for overages, you will receive email alerts when you are approaching your monthly limit, when you reach your monthly limit, and when you go into overages. Overages are billed in 10% blocks as they accrue. For each 10% block of usage, you receive an email and an invoice. When you reach 150% of your monthly quota you will automatically be upgraded to the next plan to prevent runaway overages charges. When you are upgraded to the next plan your start date and monthly quota target will be reset. Customers exceeding 150% on the two highest plans (Business Enhanced and Business Enhanced Plus) will be referred to a MapQuest salesperson. This infographic shows the process:
In the next few weeks, summer will be winding down and your calendars will start looking more and more like a Tetris board. We, here at MapQuest, are no exception. So before the madness ascends, we thought we’d take a second to fill you in about some of our upcoming adventures. We think they’re pretty cool.
Come September, MapQuest will be packing our bags and heading to Irving, Texas, and San Francisco to sponsor two national hackathon events, as well as guest speak at a worldwide API & digital innovation event:
Verizon’s Hack Day in Irving, Texas, on September 10, 2016
TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in San Francisco on September 10-11, 2016
For more information on Verizon’s Hack Day event, visit the event page here. For details on TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, click here. And, if you’re interested in learning about, signing up or integrating MapQuest’s APIs, head on over to our documentation page.
Earlier this summer, we were thrilled to tell you about our new Search Ahead API, as part of our product suite. This predictive search feature autocompletes addresses as users type, offering suggestions based on the input. We promised it would get better, and today, we’re pleased to announce the addition of POI data.Most users’ top priority, when using a mapping application, is to get from point A to point B. Sometimes that destination is an address, other times, it’s a point of interest. Bad search queries are a thing of the past, no matter the search, with our autocomplete feature. Search Ahead’s Premium POI data ensures that your users search for Cafe Du Monde, and not Cafe DuMont. It’s not just limited to specific locations, either. We’ve also included categories and franchises, meaning if users start typing “pizza,” both Pizza as a category, and Pizza Hut franchises will be suggested. All our POI data is provided by our numerous data providers, meaning you can count on the extensive, accurate data you’ve come to know and trust, as part of MapQuest’s product suite. As part of our lightweight Search Ahead API, all data is expressed in geoJSON, making it easy to integrate into any mapping application. Premium POI data is available to our Enterprise clients, as part of our already amazing Search Ahead API. Talk to your Account Manager today, to see how you can utilize this feature so that your users get an accurate search query, every time, whether it’s an address, an adminarea, or a hard-to-spell restaurant. Looking to become a MapQuest for Business customer? Contact our team at email@example.com.
On Thursday, September 1, MapQuest will release an update to our Directions API V1 and V2 and your application may be impacted.
The release for MapQuest Directions API V1 and V2 includes bug fixes to our alternate route response, eliminate a duplicate route bug and remove the ability for closed roads to be returned in real-time routes.
Additionally, we’ll be updating the status codes for our Directions API V1 and V2. Please reference the new status codes and descriptions below, and visit our documentation page for additional details on our Directions API.Thanks for your patience. As always, feel free to reach out to Support via email or through the forum with any questions.
Chances are you’ve heard a few things about our geocode quality codes. You’ve probably heard that they are some of the most granular in the mapping business, but you might be wondering what that means.How can a quality code, granular or not, help your business?
First, what is a quality code?
A quality code, simply speaking, is an indicator for the degree of accuracy in a geocode result. Many mapping applications will tell you, on a grade-letter scale, how confident they are in a geocode result. We take it a step further and analyze every piece of the query, from the street name to the zip code, so that you can ensure your drivers or deliveries know exactly where they are going.
Let’s look at an address for an example: 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613. This returns a quality code of L1AAA from our geocoder, which is one of the best possible geocode results, but let’s break down why.
L1: This means that the geocoder is certain where this street address, or “Location” is located. The letters each correspond to a segment of the address. An ‘A’ is an exact match, a ‘B’ is a good match, a ‘C’ is an approximate match, and an ‘X’ indicates this information was not provided. Looking at this address, you can infer that the geocoder knows exactly where this location is, and that the street address, city and zipcode provided are exact matches. If this was a delivery address, you could dispatch your driver knowing exactly where they are going!Assuming that, on occasion, people make mistakes when they enter an address, let’s see what happens if we tweak this address just slightly and request 1060 W. Addison Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. The geocoder now returns an L1BAA. This tells you that the geocoder is still quite certain where this location is, but that the street address wasn’t an exact match. However, a ‘B’ is still a good result, and capable of receiving a delivery.
When making a determination as to whether or not you would dispatch a driver to a location, both of these addresses are good examples. But, you may be wondering, could quality codes tell your business when you might not want to drive to an address? Absolutely! Let’s look at 2345 Martin, Dallas, TX. The geocoder returns an L1CAX. Let’s break that down:
When searching for this address, the Geocoder did find a result for 2345 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, so it returned an L1 because it knows where this location is, however, for the street address it returns a ‘C’ because it’s taking a best guess that the user meant Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The city and state gets an ‘A’ code, but the user did not provide a zip code, so the geocoder returns an ‘X.’As a business, you might decide there is too much margin of error with this quality code, and you don’t want to waste valuable time having your driver hunt for this questionable address. Which saves both time and money, and gets you to your next delivery faster. We have more than a dozen quality code indicators, and you can read even more about them in our developer documentation.