April 15, 2017
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Bike sharing, a common form of collective transportation outside the US, has started gaining traction in the US. A recent addition to the bike sharing scene, viaCycle, approaches the market differently than its competitors and hopes that its innovative approach will make it the Zipcar of bike sharing. viaCycle differentiates itself by combining the community aspect of bike sharing with "cutting edge IT." Within the IT competitive advantage lies the viaCycle API available for third-party app development.
It's funny that when I talk to people in the travel industry about mashups and APIs, most of them get glazed looks in their eyes. Throw in terms like location based services or geospatial awareness and I've lost them. What most of them don't realize is that the majority of the travel apps that are starting to come out, both online and for mobile are mashups that are relying on location awareness and geospatial data. Many of them, like Pocketvillage are a consumer interface on top of a variety of APIs all normalized for a single homogenous user experience. That's right, it's essentially a metasearch tool that pulls in content from a variety of sources including Viator, GetYourGuide, TourCMS, Rezgo, AirBnB, and many others. What differentiates a metasearch like Pocketvillage from other metasearch applications however, is the fact that with location based services enabled, Pocketvillage can return content based on your current location. The issue right now however is that not all geo data is equal. Not all APIs provide geolocation information and some return it based on different criteria.
Tour operators can't find travelers who will hire them, while travelers are leery of tour operators because they don't know who to trust. And those who bundle and sell tours are caught in the middle. World Travel and Tours solves that hairball by maintaining an inventory of reputable guides, and providing an intuitive platform that tours, tour affiliates and travelers can use. Key to this is the World Travel and Tours API, which accepts HTTP GET calls and returns data in XML. World Travel and Tours joins some 272 travel APIs in our directory.