Today In APIs: Google Tracking Users Offline, Google Maps of the Year and 16 New APIs

Wendell Santos
Dec. 21 2012, 01:23PM EST

Google's new API links users' online activity with what they do in the real world. The best Google Maps of 2012. Plus: The AWS Data Pipeline now available to all and 16 new APIs.

Google Tracking Users Offline

Having your online behavior tracked has long been a fact of life, but now Google is taking steps that will allow it to begin tracking your activities out in the real world as well. Google's new API, named Conversions lets retailers link your online activity with your offline shopping activity in an effort to serve up ever more personalized and targeted ads.

More information can be found at the announcement of the API's release.

Google Maps Mania's Maps of the Year

Mapping mashups are always a popular choice with developers; our directory lists more than 2600 of them. Google Maps Mania, a blog tracking websites, mashups and tools that use the Google Maps API has named their Google Maps of the year.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

16 New APIs

Today we had 16 new APIs added to our API directory including a european automobile registration information service, portuguese news aggregator, car repair cost estimate service, image exif data service, public identity lookup service, online accounting service, mapping and location-aware data service, contractual payment service, french forestry information service, new south wales water monitoring data service, parcel shipping service, location imaging service for new south wales, south african sms text messaging service, shipping and ltl freight service, u.s. postal service return shipping service, auto insurance verification service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

CarweBCarweB API: The service provides vehicle registration information for European countries. It interacts with national authorities for automobiles registration and returns ownership and leinholder information based on license plate number, serving needs of insurance providers, repair shops and parts suppliers, leasing/rental companies and dealers, and parking facility operators.

API methods support submission of a Vehicle Registration Mark, such as a license plate number, to obtain lookup access to vehicle title information documented with the appropriate national authority within Europe. Returned data include the name and address of the vehicle's registered owner and other information from its valid title or other ownership documents. XML structure may be customized for specific needs.

DestakesDestakes API: Destakes is a Portuguese news aggregator site and the accompanying API allows users to look up much of the information from the site. Users can search news stories for a given term, search a term for related news, and list all sources used in stories. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in RSS.

Eurotax RepairEstimateEurotax RepairEstimate API: EurotaxGlass's is a leading provider of data, solutions, and business intelligence services for the European automotive community. The Eurotax RepairEstimate API enables users to estimate the cost of repairs for a vehicle based on its make, model, extent of damage, and the country in which it is located. This service can be accessed directly through the website or programmatically using SOAP calls.

EXIF.inEXIF.in API: EXIF.in is a simple service that allows users to view and remove EXIF data from images over HTTP. Users can add /strip to their HTTP GET request and get back a URI to an exact copy of the image with its EXIF data removed. Responses are formatted in JSON.

IDlightIDlight API: IDlight is a public identity lookup service. It uses standards like Webfinger, XRD and hCard to retrieve public profiles. Other well-known profile sources are explored as well. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and JSON.

Intacct Online AccountingIntacct Online Accounting API: The service provides access to and interaction with the provider's suite of online accounting tools. It allows for integration of accounting functionality with other applications such as e-commerce and vendor management tools to automatically book financial transactions such as sales revenues with resulting receivables and invoices with resulting payables. Reporting functions generate standard accounting statements according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

API methods support the full range of accounting functions, including creating and updating the chart of accounts, booking general ledger transactions, assigning transactions to specific accounts, managing accounts receivable and accounts payable, etc. Reporting methods generate income (profit and loss) statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, etc.

MapData ServicesMapData Services API: The Australian service provides mapping and location-aware information services for integration with other applications. Information available for a location includes property risks such as flood, fire, cyclone, earthquake and hailstorm along with more general social infrastructure such as roads, commercial activity, social service and government facilities, etc. Map rendering services help to generate images of terrain and conditions for a specified location, with road networks and route mapping between locations.

API methods support submission of a location as address, latitude and longitude, or other location IDs along with information requested: risk factors, infrastructure, amenities, etc. Mapping methods allow designation of pin markers, area polygons, map boundaries and zoom levels, etc. Methods also support location-aware search for businesses and other features local to a specified place.

MeracordMeracord API: Meracord is a payment processing solution that focuses on collecting, holding, and distributing funds. The Meracord API allows developers to integrate the Meracord payment solutions with their existing business accounts. From this developers receive real time updates on the management of their funds as well as access to Meracord services. The API is made of a series of WS-Security protected web services, and is supported in SOAP.

National Institute for Geographic Information and forestryNational Institute for Geographic Information and forestry API: The service provides data for mapping and geographic information sysetms (GIS) applications related to forestry and agricultural conditions in France. It documents forest coverage, tree species and health, soil conditions, and related environmental reports tied to specific locations, identified as geographic points or physical areas. It is intended to provide a continuously updated inventory of French forest resources.

API methods support retrieval of reports on tree species, environmental health, and forestation. Data may be formatted as map layers for integration with third-party mapping applications. Native client integrations are available, including Geoportal.

NSW Office of Water HydstraNSW Office of Water Hydstra API: The NSW Office of Water manages an extensive water monitoring system that provides vital data such as flow levels, volume, and quality. Data is stored in the NSW's implementation of the Hydstra water database. Hydstra is a time-series data management system that provides tools for building and maintaining time-series data archives. The NSW Office of Water's water data is available through the website or via the Hydstra API.

ShippingEasyShippingEasy API: The service provides rate quotes, delivery estimates, label and shipping document creation, and pickup/delivery scheduling for parcel shipments related to e-commerce sales and other small package transactions. It automates interactions with a number of couriers to quote shipping rates and delivery terms offered, with ability to choose an available option, complete documents including address label and customs declarations, and schedule pickup. The service interacts with shippers for package tracking and delivery status inquiries.

API methods support submitting customer information, delivery address, shipment contents, and other particulars to generate shipping options from a list of available couriers. Methods also support shipping document creation, including bill of lading, and finalization of the shipping transaction. The API provides tracking number and other delivery status information.

SIX Address ImageSIX Address Image API: The Spatial Information eXchange (SIX) is a resource provided by the government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia. SIX is the official source for NSW geospatial information along with land and property information. The SIX Address Image API lets users retrieve geospatial imagery of a specified NSW address. This API uses SOAP calls issued in XML format.

SMSNetworksSMSNetworks API: The service provides SMS text messaging within South Africa. It is designed for individual messaging and bulk messaging campaigns, either via FTP upload of files specifying message text and recipient mobile phone numbers or via HTTP GET and POST requests. Applications anticipated include appointment reminders and timely customer communications as well as promotional campaigns to attract new customers. Message delivery can work through all South African mobile phone service providers.

API methods support submitting recipient lists and message text for bulk message delivery, with routing of any replies. Methods also support generating single SMS messages with individual text and recipient.

TransCore DAT ConnexionTransCore DAT Connexion API: The service provides a clearinghouse for truck transportation information, including available carriers, rates, and loads, both full and less-than-truckload (LTL). Trucking companies can offer services and find loads suited to their capabilities, while shippers can identify potential transportation providers and post their loads for delivery offers. The service allows both truckers and shippers to benchmark spot rates and investigate provider and shipper qualifications.

API methods support integration with transportation management systems (TMS) and load dispatching applications. Methods also support access to the provider's rate and load databases for benchmarking current terms against market standards.

USPS Merchant ReturnsUSPS Merchant Returns API: The service provides expedited processing of shipping for returns of merchandise delivered via the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Specifically, it augments service to merchants through the provider's Scan Based Payment program by allowing expedited processing of customer product returns with quick refunds of purchase price. By offering merchant-funded USPS return labels, sellers can encourage trial purchases and simplify interactions with customers. Each shipping label generated by the service carries an Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) for automated package tracking.

API methods support submission of a return processing request with customer name and address, product specifications, and merchant account ID. The API responds with a fully formatted shipping label, USPS tracking number, and related processing information.

Wyoming FRVPWyoming FRVP API: The service provides verification of compliance with driver financial responsibility requirements enacted by the U.S. state of Wyoming. It checks for registration of automobile insurance coverage and confirms legal compliance status. The service was created to help police detect circumvention of the state requirement to maintain continued insurance coverage by paying only a single month's premium just to gain proof of insurance documents.

API methods support electronic verification of coverage for vehicles covered by personal lines insurance. (Wyoming law exempts vehicles covered by a commercial insurance policy from verification requirements.) Methods allow submission of driver and vehicle identifying information along with policy number (if known) and dates of coverage to return updated information on coverage status at the time specified.

Wendell Santos

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