Geo APIs are popular in today's mobile, ever-connected world. It's hard to find an oft-used app without mapping functionality of some sort. While the likes of Google Maps and other services have popular APIs, there is a visible lack of standardization in geocoding that the OGC seeks to remedy.
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Google was pleased to announced new LocationServices APIs within release 11 of its Google Play services SDK. The new APIs greatly reduce the number of manual steps required by code to use certain location services. The new APIs automate many tasks and lessens the chance of errors.
Over two years after Google originally announced the end of the Google Earth API, Google will finally sunset the API today. January 11, 2017 is the official sunset date that many had hoped Google would continue to delay. The popular API is based on the outdated NPAPI plugin framework.
The W3C announced 3 APIs in various stages of development. The TV Control API and Webmentions API were released in development states while the Geolocation API has reached its second edition. Expanded location sources power the Geolocation API and the other APIs further propel the connected world.
NASA has released a new API (the EPIC API) which provides programmatic access to images pulled from the EPIC camera. EPIC sits upon the DSCOVR satellite and constantly provides images from the Earth's sunlit side. Developers can retrieve images from the camera along with associated metadata.
Earlier this year, Google requested map data from the Korean government. In response, Korean tech companies Naver and Kakao have increased free limits to their respective maps APIs beyond what Google offers. The government is expected to respond next month but the competition has already started.
Geocoding involves converting a description of a physical address into coordinates that represent that location on a map to perform spatial analysis. This tutorial on the Google Maps APIs blog describes the two approaches to geocoding with Google Maps APIs, and when to use them.
Google Maps API is the most popular tool for building location-based services. Now, the Google Maps Operations team is leveraging their experience to collaborate with Udacity and create a free course that teaches students how to integrate maps and location features into websites.
The Google Maps API team maintains many Google Maps APIs and SDKs. Manually tracking updates across the various sets of Release Notes presents a challenge for developers. Google now offers auto-updates to Maps Release Notes via RSS feeds. RSS feeds for all Maps and Places APIs are available.
Developers have requested that Google better align the Places API and Google Maps search results. Google has answered the call by integrating the Places API with Google Maps search. The move offers better search quality, but developers need be aware the changes may affect current installations.