ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017: Mapping and Location

Our look at the most interesting APIs of 2017 moves to the Mapping category. Developers wanting to give users a more personalized experience often look to these Location and Mapping services to enhance their applications and these APIs provide the technology they need. Other categories included here are Transportation, Travel, Motion, Wireless, Localization, and Engagement.

Mapbox, a mapping Platform provider for developers, launched the Mapbox Optimization API for developers to build applications with optimized multi-stop itineraries. The Mapbox Matrix API returns travel times between many points and returns a matrix of all travel times between the locations. The company has also updated the Mapbox Navigation SDK with new navigation tools for both iOS and Android.

Microsoft has launched the Bing Maps Distance Matrix API, a new API that returns the travel times and distances between a set of origins and destinations. Travel times and distances are based on the routes calculated by the Bing Maps Route API.

GDELT stand for "Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone." The GDELT project monitors news from broadcast, print, and web sources in more than 100 languages. The Project facilitates the identification of counts, emotions, events, incidents, images, locations, people, quotes, sources, themes, and other parameters in world news. The GDELT Geo API supports the creation of maps from keywords or phrases. The API returns responses in GeoJSON format.

GDELT Geo API generates GeoJSON files based on keywords found in world news

GDELT Geo API generates GeoJSON files based on world news that can be used in mapping platforms Image: GDELT/CARTO

Mozilla Proximity Events API detects the closeness of devices to objects and initiates appropriate reactions, such as shutting down a phone’s screen when it is close to a user's ear. Its sensors notify the browser of the device-object distance changes, which in turn responds with appropriate instructions for reacting to device and user proximity events. The API is compatible with only Firefox (Gecko) browser for desktop and Firefox Mobile (Gecko) browser for mobile.

WeShare offers a Wi-Fi hotspot sharing engine designed to increase user engagement across platforms. The WeShare Wi-FI SDK lets developers enable users to connect to wi-fi hotspots in their applications. Businesses can benefit from an optimized layout and response speed when compared with the original Wi-Fi functionality of mobile systems. Developers will need to register in order to access Documentation.

WeShare WiFi SDK Video: Pegasus Network Inc.

Spatial. AI creates Artificial Intelligence products that understand human behavior based on a human's location. The Spatial Neighborhood API offers developers current behavioral trends of a particular area. The API supports social scores for ethnographical (customs, habits) categorization, and topics of conversation related to experiences in specific locations. The Neighborhood API accepts latitude and longitude data, and returns social scores, and prevalent topics on social media. This API could be useful for travel, real estate, automotive, or smart city applications

Logistrics Services provides the GPS Data-as-a-Service API, allowing developers to store, handle, and manage GPS data in the cloud. The service takes care of infrastructure, databases, backups, and system performance and scales quickly to handle millions of GPS records. GPS Data-as-a-Servicee analyzes GPS data in real time so that developers can use it to drive applications and services. It can also provide reports on analyzed data.

Access GPS data with GPS Data-as-a-Service API

Access GPS data with GPS Data-as-a-Service API and dashboards Image: Logistrics Services

AerisWeather Maps Platform API provides weather information in graphical form that includes a set of weather layers for past, current and future options, and customization options allowing developers to create maps.

AirMap is an airspace services platform for drones. The AirMap API allows developers to integrate tools that help create GIS and drone applications. AirMap sources their own data so that drone manufacturers and developers don't have to to worry about sourcing their own airspace databases. The API offers information related to airspace objects and rules, aircraft type, flight status and direction, pilots, and more.

Commercial drone operators can request digital airspace authorization in controlled airspace within mobile applications via the AirMap API Video: YouTube/Cole Heilborn

IP Geolocation API provides tools for finding locations of IP addresses. The RESTful API allows users to locate an IP address to a particular country, city, and location.

TRX Systems provides 3D "Indoor GPS" mapping of indoor spaces useful to first responders and facilities management professionals. The company provides the TRX Systems NEON API for Integration.

TRX Systems NEON Personnel Tracker Video: Vimeo/Nicholas Boushell

OpenWeatherMap provides open weather data, satellite imagery, IoT, and other environmental data for developers. OpenWeatherMap Weather Alerts API can be used for applications to notify users of temperature, humidity, pressure and other weather conditions.

uebermaps is a social mapping platform that allows users to create and collaborate on maps, and share their favorite points of interest. The uebermaps API can be used to create and share interactive maps programmatically.

uebermaps: Guide to Prince's Minneapolis

uebermaps: Guide to Prince's Minneapolis Image: Uebermaps

Curbside is a retail fulfillment service. The Curbside ARRIVE service lets retailers accurately predict when customers arrive to pick up products. The Curbside ARRIVE API is used to manage the lifecycle of trips related to retail experiences. This can include online-to-offline pickup experiences, alerting store employees when a customer is near, having reserved items ready for customers upon arrival and more. It is especially useful for restaurant to-go orders. The API is RESTful and can be used with the iOS ARRIVE SDK or Android ARRIVE SDK.

Developers using the Elevation Return API can locate a user's elevation. The data provided comes from the ASTER GDEM dataset, a product of NASA and METI. The service smooths the output data to filter out high inconsistencies or voids.

TripGo API enables applications for planning door-to-door trips using a large variety of public and private transport options. The API integrates real-time information and, for selected providers, allows users to book and pay for transport.

TripGo API allows door-to-door routes for almost all modes of transportation in many cities worldwide

TripGo API allows door-to-door routes for almost all modes of transportation. Image: TripGo/Google Maps

Navisens is a location platform that relies on inertial sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes in mobile devices. The Navisens API can be used to create applications that can locate mobile devices even in an indoor building with multiple floors. Navisens provides its proprietary motionDNA technology which makes it suitable for Augmented Reality and IoT devices.

Factual Engine API and SDK enables developers to include exact location data within third party apps. Engine is able to understand a device's exact location and movement so it is useful for designing customized outcomes for users.

CycloMedia produces visualizations of cities and other areas using 360 degree panoramic photographs (cycloramas). The Cyclomedia StreetSmart API returns data of addresses, panorama, and viewer features, and is useful to integrate into transportation applications.

US Cyclorama Video: Vimeo/CycloMedia

Mapon offers a professional fleet management and GPS service designed to remotely track business assets. The Mapon API provides methods for route, fuel, and user management. JSON is the preferred response format, and API Keys are required for Authentication. By using Mapon, businesses can benefit from controlled fuel consumption, digital tachograph, and reduced operation costs.

This video describes Mapon's services Video: Mapon

SITA provides telecom and technology to the air travel industry. Among the many APIs they offer is the SITA FlightFollower API, which streams live map images of routes for progressing flights and allows users to search departure or arrival airports, flight number, or airline number.

Caret is a service that provides automatable status sharing triggered by a device's sensors. The Caret API lets users harness their smart device sensors and interconnect them with third party devices and applications to automate customizable status sharing services. For example, a status could automatically change when a user starts playing a game and contain a link, photo and more about that game.

Integrate with Caret API for automated triggered status sharing functionality

Integrate with Caret API for automated triggered status sharing functionality Image: Caret

Be sure to read the next Mapping article: Add Personalized Audio Traffic Reports to Apps with the TomTom Audio Traffic API