Have API Will Travel: 5 Great APIs on Getting Places

Greg Bates
Mar. 18 2013, 10:00AM EDT

Looking through our directory of travel APIs and getting lost? That's no surprise; we've cataloged 168 of them so far. Fortunately, Valentin Dombrovsky, CEO of Travelatus did a great service by focusing on the 5 he says, "are the ones that offer interesting opportunities for your site—no matter who you are, an OTA, an airline or a hotel chain, for example." Writing for Tnooz, the magazine that talks travel tech, his 5 picks are rome2rio, DealAngel, Evature, Flightstats, and InKnowledge's Taxi Fare Calculator.

As he describes Romeo2Rio, "Well, you know that online travel planning still looks like it is broken and multi-modal transportation search is definitely a thing that can help to solve part of this problem. You can give your users a way to search transport on a “door to door” basis showing them different possibilities and making travel trip planning more flexible in terms of time/money ratio. The challenge, however, is to apply this tool wisely, facilitating travel search instead of making it harder."

In contrast, DealAngel finds hotel pricing that lets you sleep at night. Itcompares pricing with the past as much as it does with other hotels in the moment, Dombrovsky points out.

"They use historical pricing data over an extended period of time to predict how much each hotel should charge for its rooms depending on a particular competitive situation on a given day in the future. They say it allows gauging whether an actual price is a good deal or a rip-off. On top of that DealAngel provides insights into what dates are more (or less) expensive so that travelers could avoid high-demand dates if they are flexible and save even more."

According to an interview in tlabs in April, the two co-founders understand the industry. Roman Peskin is a former cluster revenue manager. Bob Rogers was a director at Expedia. "Basically between the two of us we know pretty well all tricks the hotels and booking sites have up their sleeves."

Here's just how it gives you more than price, according to Anthony Ha at Techcrunch,

"When you go to the DealAngel site and select your dates, it provides a list of hotels and prices for your trip. Each of those rooms is assigned a “value” score — basically, how the offered price compares to the expected market rate for the room. If a room on a given night would normally cost $300, and instead it’s priced at $150, that’s a great value — but you might not see that if you’re searching purely based on price."

Evature is third on Dombrovsky's list. This "Expert Virtual Agent" converts user queries into structured search queries. As an example demo, it can cope with requests like, "I wish to fli from Bostn to Miyami on next wensday." and make sense of it.

Flightstats is just what you'd expect, from flight status to weather forecasts. Most illustrious client: Apple's Siri.

Last on Dombrovsky's list, the Inknowledge Taxi Fare Calculator, He says, "The company claims that it works with taxi companies from around to world to ensure that the calculated fares are reasonably accurate."It works with 150 cities around the world." Since 2010 it's been an app on Bing maps.

Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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