11 Popular Cities APIs

According to the United Nations, 55% of the world's population currently live in cities, and that percentage is estimated to jump to 68% by 2050. So it's no wonder city officials are embracing Digital Transformation to make their urban areas smarter.

Driving the smart city trend is data science, or using data to modernize health and human services, improve roads & transportation & traffic, create a more sustainable environment, create safer and more efficient water & sewer systems, decrease crime, improve equity, better prepare for disasters, fires & other emergencies, streamline laws, regulations & code compliance, and accomplish all other civic functions.

Developers wishing to create or enhance applications utilizing city data would need to find the appropriate Cities APIs.

What is a Cities API?

A Cities API is an Application Programming Interface in which developers can retrieve data about cities or city focused tools and integrate it into their own applications.

The best place to discover these APIs is in the Cities category of the ProgrammableWeb API directory. In this article, we detail eleven of the most popular Cities APIs, based on web page visitors to ProgrammableWeb.

1. GeoDB Cities API

The GeoDB REST APITrack this API offers global city and region data. API operations include determining the distance between cities, finding nearby cities, and support for city autocomplete as well as retrieval of city details, countries, country details, region details, currencies, locales, and time-zones. Results are displayable in multiple languages.

2. Moovit API

The Moovit APITrack this API offers transit directions for 800 cities in 60 countries. Information is combined from public transportation operators and the user community to provide travelers with live transit data. Moovit features OmniSearch to discover the best routes, arrival times, and personalization for instant trip planning. Users can GET a variety of transit options to reach specific destinations and deep linking is available for one-tap results.

3. Geobytes Get City Details API

The Geobytes Get City Details APITrack this API allows developers to retrieve city attributes for a location given as an IP Address, latitude/longitude, Fully Qualified City Name (FQCN), or Geobytes Location Code. It also has an optional parameter that lets users set the default location the API will return if it's unable to determine the location of an IP Address. This API is the free version of Geobytes' legacy IP Locator API.

4. Spott API

Spott provides tools for applications to handle geographical places. The Spott APITrack this API enables appications to search for cities, countries and administrative divisions by name, autocompletion or IP. Data returned includes population, timezone, and geocoordinates. The service can also determine locations from user's input, such as a Twitter profile. This API is powered by the GeoNames.org database.

Spott API

Screenshot: Spott

5. GeoBytes Get Nearby Cities API

The GeoBytes Get Nearby Cities APITrack this API allows developers to retrieve information on cities near a given location. The API returns the name, bearing, direction, latitude, longitude, and distance for each nearby city. Locations and distances are calculated based on a given IP Address, Fully Qualified City Name (FQCN), or Geobytes Location Code.

6. Fastah API

The Fastah IP Geolocation APITrack this API enables geo-targeting, displaying country or city-specific pages, analytics, and data visualization. This Platform features REST architecture. The API is powered by AWS which allows for any application to rapidly map visitor's IP address to a city, timezone, and country.

7. UrtheCast Geosys API

UrtheCast provides satellite remote sensing technology for the agriculture industry. The Geosys Bridge APITrack this API provides programmatic access to Geosys remote sensor data processing tools. The API allows a business to access weather and agriculture imagery from satellite, integrate analytical data, optimize data flow, and filter options for complex requests.

8. Emotional Cities API

Emotional Cities is an art project that studies and visualizes the emotions of individuals and groups. It uses data gathered from it's website, where users can log on and answer the question "How are you today?" Emotional Cities also provides a REST API for developers to query the Emotional Cities data and create their own applications around it. The API methods mostly relate to 'mood' of a city, but there are a few other bits of data the API can provide, such as a city's weather report.

9. Coord Curb Search API

The Coord Curb Search API Track this API provides access to descriptions of what can be done on a given street curb. API methods are available to retrieve uses (such as parking or loading) and vehicles (taxi, commercial, motorcycle, etc.), geometry and direction, and temporary rules (such as construction zones).

10. Citymapper API

Citymapper provides real time transportation information for bus, rail, subway, bike-sharing, car-sharing, and other transit systems in cities. Developers can utilize the Citymapper APITrack this API to integrate transit data into applications, including transportation types and maps.

Citymapper returns walking, biking, and public transit directions for cities

Citymapper returns walking, biking, and public transit directions for cities. Image: Citymapper

11. US Census Bureau City API

The US Census Bureau City REST APITrack this API allows developers to access and integrate city demographic information from the US Census with other applications. Some example API methods include retrieving population information, retrieving income information, and integrating demographic information with applications. The US Census Bureau provides demographic information about the United States.

See the Cities category for 70 more city-related APIs, plus SDKs, and Source Code Samples for developers.

Be sure to read the next Top APIs article: 10 Popular APIs for Words