MapQuest API Update and New Geo APIs 7/3/12

MapQuest now offers authoritative commercial data via its Community Edition API.

Who doesn’t love free? Yes F-R-E-E. MapQuest is known for its accurate geocoding and flexible routing APIs but did you know that developers and businesses can get unlimited free MapQuest maps? With MapQuest Community Edition you can build both online and mobile apps and get access to highly accurate maps for free (there’s that F word again) with no usage limits for maps (check out our licensing chart for details). The combo of free maps built on commercial data and no usage limits for maps makes us different. Different in a good way, we think.

Do be careful because while the maps are free and unlimited, other calls have daily limits. See a comparison chart here.

- MapQuest Blog

Next up, the latest geo APIs per Programmable Web.


BlockBeacon API: BlockBeacon is an application that collects and displays real-time deals on food, dining, and drinking. Deals can be displayed by keyword, type, and on a map.

The BlockBeacon API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality and data of BlockBeacon with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers can sign up here:

Codebump GeoPlaces API: The service extends the provider's ZIP Code lookup service to allow specification of cities by their common names. For a submitted location, it returns other ZIP Codes and cities in the surrounding areas. The service can also provide distance between ZIP Codes and cities and provide mapping coordinates.

API methods support submission of a ZIP Code or city name to retrieve its location coordinates, nearby cities and locations, and adjacent ZIP Codes. Methods allow submission of a list places to determine the distance between them.

ELGIN Roadworks API: The U.K. service provides timely information about roadworks and construction projects. It aggregates and repackages information from a number of sources, including government agencies under the Open Government License. Applications can use the information to coordinate local construction activities, manage emergency response near construction zones, or influence route optimization for traffic mapping and similar applications.

API methods support search by location for road construction underway and planned. Methods also support mapping of construction projects, with further access to relevant data about each project.

HeyWhatsThat API: The service provides a scaled view of the horizon and terrain from a specified location, defined as a map point on Google Maps. It calculates a 'viewshed' from the location based on local terrain contours and depicts a view from the location highlighting mountains in the distance. It is intended to answer questions like, "Hey, what's that?" when viewing a horizon.

API methods support submission of a location, either as a panorama query or as a latitude/longitude. Methods adjust for day and time, and for atmospheric refraction, which changes the view of distant terrain due to bending of light through air.

Street Directory Maps API: Street Directory provides street-level maps of Australia along with addresses and profiles for local businesses, events, community groups, and accommodations. The Street Directory Maps JavaScript API uses Ausway, an Australian road map provider, to enable users to create and customize maps for use on their own websites.

TideSpy API: The TideSpy API supplies users with tide heights, timezone info, wind, and moon/sun data to users through an HTTP request. The data is returned in JSON format. The full documentation is available after registration, and a small monthly fee is charged for you of the API.

Topocoding API: The service provides information about altitude and topography for places on the Earth. Sources for topographic data include the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and the GTOPO30 project of the U.S. Geological Service (USGS). Data describes contours and primary features of all continents except Antarctica at a horizontal resolution of about 90 meters.

API methods support submission of a place or list of places, specified by latitude and longitude or GPS coordinates, to retrieve altitude, distance apart, and intermediate locations. The API generates an altitude profile for the route between the specified places, which can help to route's steepness or to verify the visibility of one point from another. Distance measurements account for the curvature of the Earth.

Trackip API: Trackip is a German site that tracks user IP addresses and provides the geographical location based on the IP. The API gives developers programmatic access to the site functionality and data for use in their own applications or websites. The API lets users look up the internet host, IP address, city, country, latitude and longitude. It uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML. The site and documentation are in German.

Programmable Web

Published Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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