Five years ago Paul Rademacher reverse engineered Google Maps to put Craigslist homes and rentals on a map on his site. The site essentially pre-launched the map mashup category, because there was no Google Maps API at the time. Now it is the prototypical example and still used by many to find their new homes. And, of course, Google Maps is now by far the most popular API to use.
Developers have long requested direct access to driving directions data from Google. Now they've got it, Google announced today at its I/O conference. The feature comes after MapQuest who became the first major player to offer its directions as a web service for free.