TomTom, location and navigation products provider, recently enhanced its API offering with a new Location Based Services (LBS) platform and developer portal. The developer portal includes a series of APIs aimed at facilitating new applications that require rich geolocation data. Dan Adams, TomTom Vice President of Location and Live Services, commented on the new offering:
"In response to the increasing demand for top quality data and services, TomTom is offering a comprehensive, easy to use solution for adding location intelligence to applications....The launch of the TomTom LBS Platform is an important evolution. Now we can provide application developers with web-based access to high-quality location content worldwide."
Now that hardware GPS appliances are quickly being replaced by navigation apps running on mobile devices, TomTom must utilize its data in a services-oriented method to remain relevant. The new platform and portal show dedication to this market. NS (Dutch railway operator) recently partnered with TomTom and can advocate for TomTom's new focus. NS Director of Corporate Accounts, Joost Ravoo, described the solution:
"NS, Netherlands Railways, and TomTom recently launched a webtool providing our combined customers with a world premiere: an objective comparison between real-time public transport and road traffic information. We are happy to see our passengers turn into better informed and more quality conscious customers."
The platform uses RESTful APIs and both JSON and XML data formats. Although TomTom intends to expand features available via API, the current version includes a base set of TomTom's capabilities: map display, geo-coding web service, routing web service, and traffic web service.
Location data was one of the first data types to arise in the open API era. Location services continue to play an important role in app development. TomTom has accurately realized the limited potential of its hardware offering and appropriately made major investments in the developer community. Those interested in the new offering should visit the developer site.