New MapQuest OpenAPI

The other big API news to start the week comes from MapQuest with their announcement of the MapQuest OpenAPI. They're an established player in online mapping but a latecomer to the open API party. It looks like they're going try and play off their strengths which include high-quality maps and good routing. Here's the first new MapQuest mashup: mapzierge.

The API itself is a JavaScript-based API that provides:

  • Routing - Integrate MapQuest's ultra-accurate driving directions to show your users exactly how to get there.
  • Mapping - Plot multiple locations on a single map. Choose one of our map styles to create a truly integrated look-and-feel with your website.
  • Active Point Markers - Add up to 100 active point markers to a single map. You can also add events, like a pop-up box with key information displayed when users click on or roll over the marker.

The limits? Free of charge for non-commercial use within the stated transaction levels of 50,000 combined maps and geocodes and 5,000 routes per day.

MapQuest's Anthony Pegg is presenting a session on this tomorrow by at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego.

And lastly, to go along with the launch of these APIs, they've announced a Developers Challenge:

The winning entry will push the mashup genre beyond merely plotting locations on a map, demonstrate some real usefulness to a broader, non commercial community and leverage the full set of tools available in OpenAPI with an emphasis on routing.

Contest ends March 31st. This has now been added to the ProgrammableWeb /contests page.

Be sure to read the next News Services article: The New API for AIM