MapQuest Product Overview

By MapQuest Staff

More than 1,400 business customers rely on LBS industry leader MapQuest to location enable their websites, applications, and back-end enterprise systems.In 2004, MapQuest updates its product line and introduces add-on applications that add value for their partners.

The cornerstone of the MapQuest 2004 plan is a revamped product line built on a single platform with improved performance, scalability, new routing features, improved data presentation, and clean migration across the entire product line.

The product line includes the following three categories.

Web Services
For simple maps, driving directions, and "locator" functionality with low resource burden in the data center, Web Services offer templates and tags for easy-to-use mapping. Display maps, search for nearby office/business locations, and provide door-to-door driving directions.

Developer Toolkits and API
An API product offers developers access to hosted geographic data that can be integrated with almost any Web application, desktop application or back-end enterprise system.

Location Technology Servers
The next generation enterprise mapping solution provides full API access plus full server access and control for companies that want to build applications with varying degrees of security and scalability.

MapQuest recently announced two products built on a new technology platform: an updated version of the location technology server: MapQuest Advantage Enterprise™ v3.0 and a new API toolkit and hosted service: MapQuest Advantage API™ v3.0. Both products include interactive mapping, customizable driving directions (fastest vs.shortest, road type avoidance, route optimization, etc.), geocoding, reverse geocoding and versatile proximity searching packaged with geographic data from the industries top tier vendors.MapQuest technology can be integrated into companies' applications for all major platforms and development environments: Linux, Windows, Solaris, C++, Java, ASP, ASP.NET, Visual Basic and others.

MapQuest Advantage Enterprise v3.0
Advantage Enterprise is a multi-threaded client-server system that enables developers to integrate maps, driving directions and other location based technology into Web applications, desktop applications and enterprise back-end systems.It allows server administrators to customize every aspect of the MapQuest server environment. Developers can customize mapping, routing, searching and the look of their interactive maps with custom icons and completely dynamic map style changes.

With full access to the server, companies can license only the data they need and integrate fully dynamic databases with MapQuest mapping and proximity search technology.For example, emergency response services could filter searches for response centers by facility type - hospital, command center, shelters, police, and fire - along with key information on each facility.

Because MapQuest Advantage Enterprise v3.0 resides within a customer's infrastructure, companies can control their own deployment, security, performance and scalability.Services can be provided through multiple channels: Web, wireless, speech and any other systems behind a firewall or on the public Internet.

MapQuest Advantage API v3.0
Advantage API is a hosted service that enables developers to integrate maps, driving directions and other MapQuest location based technology into their applications.MapQuest hosted servers provide MapQuest functionality to applications and Web servers anywhere on the Internet.MapQuest hosts all geographic data, client location databases, and the necessary servers.Because MapQuest hosts banks of MapQuest Advantage API servers, the client application can focus on specific business needs.

Features of Both Products
MapQuest Advantage API and Advantage Enterprise offer location technology found in previous MapQuest enterprise products plus features listed below.

Mapping. Display, interact with and customize high quality maps.Add custom icons, annotate maps with drawings, or customize any map styles.Display different levels of detail or icons at different map scales.

Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding. Assign latitude and longitude to a street address to uniquely identify locations on a map.Geocoding accuracy codes offer the ability to process ambiguous matches and low confidence matches."Reverse geocoding" is also available to return the closest valid street address to a set of latitude/longitude coordinates.

Routing.Generate visual and/or textual driving directions from one location to another with optional intermediate destinations.Customize routing by omitting highways or calculate the fastest time route, the shortest distance route, or a pedestrian route.When using four or more locations in a route, an optimized route can be generated, which reorders intermediate destinations for the fastest possible route.

Proximity Searching. Search for custom locations within a given geographic area, calculate distances between locations, and perform other location searches using dynamic database queries.For instance, you could show the closest police station or local hospitals based on dynamic search criteria. Perform location searches within a certain radius, within a rectangular area, within any arbitrary area described by a polygon (possibly by a point-and-click interface) or near a driving route, a feature called "corridor searches" and formerly called "locations along the way." For those who want a behind-the-firewall solution, Advantage Enterprise customers can integrate searching with existing ODBC-compliant corporate databases for the highest possible security.

Session Management. Create and manage sessions to improve context from one page view to the next, primarily to simplify Web application development.MapQuest sessions describe the current state of a map for easier application development and shorter map image URLs.

Authentication and Encryption. Protect sensitive data and restrict client access to the MapQuest server (and database data) to authorized IDs, passwords and/or IP addresses.Use optional data stream encryption to protect client-server communication that could expose sensitive data.

Optimized Multi-Destination Routing.Generate driving directions when using more than three locations in a route.Optional optimized routes automatically reorder any intermediate destinations for the fastest possible route, helpful for managing utility service fleets, package delivery services and other dispatch call centers.

Database API.In addition to the proximity searching API, applications with simple database lookup requirements can use a new API to get records from ODBC-compliant databases linked to a MapQuest server.Search and read any database fields, including ones that aren't MapQuest-specific.

Image Retrieval API. Download maps from the server without creating map image URLs or performing image-specific HTTP requests.This is particularly handy when developing C++ applications and other non-Web applications.

Highly Scalable Session Management.Both products support a large number of sessions with distributed network session management.Advantage Enterprise customers get a new session server application that provides scalable distributed session file management for one or more Advantage Enterprise servers.

Geocoding and Routing Selectors. Geocode and route using server-based rules without worrying about specific vendor data choices.Server rules can be overridden or customized.

2004 and Beyond
Within the first half of 2004, MapQuest will complete an update to its three core product offerings. Plans include new features, new products to manage MapQuest technology, and a greater emphasis on transaction analysis, enhanced reporting, and data visualization.2004 is an exciting year for MapQuest and its partners! For additional details on MapQuest Advantage Enterprise and MapQuest Advantage API, please call MapQuest at 1-888-627-7837 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Published Thursday, March 25th, 2004

Written by MapQuest Staff

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