What’s the best location API? routing & search edition

by Louisa Bainbridge
on Jan 23, 2017

TravelTime

best-location-api

What is it?

A location-based search platform that delivers location results by journey time rather than mileage.

What does it help customers do?

Find out which is the best location API reachable within a given time period. The API creates a polygon around where’s reachable within the specified time and filters a website/app’s data points using this shape.

Useful features

  • The search area changes depending on the mode of transport (walking, cycling, public transport and car) and time of day of travel
  • Display locations in a list by shortest time to longest time (by minutes)
  • Calculates estimated cost of the route and CO2 value
  • Delivers routing information from A to B when a search result is selected
  • Venn diagram – enter 2 or more start locations to identify which area is best for more than one start location

What doesn’t it do?

  • Mapping – a 3rd party interface must be used to display the data on a map
  • Points of interest – only uses lat/long points given by the developer team or use 3rd party points of interest suppliers
  • Search by mileage e.g. where can I get within 5 miles?

Where it’s used

  • OpenTable
  • VisitBritain
  • Countrywide
  • Zoopla

ClickCitymapper

citymapper

What is it?

Citymapper is a transport app that delivers routing information from A to B.

What does it help customers do?

  • Calculate the time it takes to arrive at a chosen destination
  • See walking, cycling, public transport and taxi routes all on one screen
  • See a breakdown of how to access the end location with public transport service timing information
Useful features
  • Shows the next leaving times for public transport services
  • Enables users to select rain safe routes
  • Integration with Uber for taxi bookings
  • Integration with transport information shows delays and disruptions

What doesn’t it do?

  • Search by time or milage e.g. Where can I get to within 30 minutes/5 miles
  • Use 3rd party data for location points – this means it can’t be adapted for a website’s unique data points

Where it’s used

  • Foursquare
  • Timeout
  • Dojo

Get the documentation here

Google places

google-places-scraping

What is it?

Google’s location-based API delivers a location-based search on apps and websites.

What does it help customers do?

Customers can find location-based information specific to the website/app. Developers can enter their own specific data and create unique Place IDs for each location. This means when a customer searches for a location, all relevant Place IDs are served back.

Useful features

  • Detect the user’s current location using GPS for an automatic location search
  • Display all relevant locations using map pins
  • Once a search result is selected, see how to get there using directions (public transport, car, walking) and the time it takes to get there
  • Display locations in a list by shortest distance to longest distance (by miles)
  • Google maps already has a huge database of existing locations if the site/app doesn’t need specific Places IDs

What doesn’t it do?

  • Search by time e.g. where can I get to within 30 minutes?
  • Adjust available Place IDs due to time of day

Where it’s used

  • Whatsapp
  • Expedia
  • AirBnB

Get the documentation here

Mapquest

dragmap_sm2

What is it?

A host of APIs that provide different solutions – geocoding, mapping, routing and traffic monitoring.

What does it help customers do?

Radius searching using miles or minutes, visualise locations on a map and see how to get there using directions and traffic.

Useful features

  • Generate map images of various sizes
  • Can deliver traffic-influenced route information to reflect real time traffic congestion
  • Suggests optimal routing for fastest and shortest routes using a range of transports
  • Can calculate the estimated fuel usage for a journey by specifying the type of car and driving style

What doesn’t it do?

  • Supply their own points of interest – but can generate these using data fields
  • Calculate travel time searches using public transport
  • Estimate route financial cost and CO2 value

Where it’s used

Get the documentation here

TomTom

tomtom-map

What is it?

Allows websites and apps to use TomTom maps and routing information within a 3rd party site.

What does it help customers do?

Calculate the time it takes to get from A to B using real time traffic data as well as visualising this on a map.

Useful features

  • Plan the fastest, shortest and most eco route based on real time traffic and historical traffic
  • Routes can be planned that go through specified points so that routes can reach various locations
  • Uses maps based on the Navigation Data Standard – an association that looks to constantly update mapping information to deliver accurate maps
  • 19 zoom levels on the map to display high quality map tiles

What doesn’t it do?

  • Supply their own points of interest – but can generate these using data fields
  • Location-based search (miles or minutes)
  • Limited transport modes

Get the documentation here

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