MapQuest Releases Software Tools - InformationWeek

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MapQuest Releases Software Tools

Developers can create a Web service that displays locations on a customized MapQuest map that also includes driving directions.

MapQuest, a subsidiary of America Online Inc., on Tuesday released a set of mapping, geo-coding and routing tools for application developers building online maps.

MapQuest OpenAPI is available at no charge for noncommercial use.

Using the software tools, Web developers can create a "mashup" that displays locations on a customized MapQuest map that also includes driving directions. A mashup is a Web application that combines content from multiple sources.

As an example, a developer could build a map that displays all the vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., while also giving driving directions to specific vineyards according to the preferences of wine enthusiasts, MapQuest said.

"In keeping with MapQuest's commitment to offering our users mapping technology that is both helpful and easy to use, OpenAPI represents our initial step to provide developers with a simple way to access all the core tools -- routing included -- necessary to create truly useful mashups," Jim Greiner, vice president and general manager of MapQuest, said in a statement.

As part of the OpenAPI launch, MapQuest started a contest that runs through the end of the month that will award a $1,000 cash prize to the most creative application built with the tools. The winner also gets a trip to the Where 2.0 Conference in San Jose, Calif., June 13-14.

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