Technology companies are changing the way their customers navigate the world using location services technologies, which offer precise location data and powerful developer tools.
Location information plays a major role in today’s technology environment. Whether it’s asset management, tracking your workforce, providing precise directions, or giving your clients and customers vital details, the use of location services technology is helping technology companies of every size to enhance their businesses and showcase the products and services they provide.
What are Location Services Technologies?
Location services technology, also known as geospatial technology, consist of application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs). These technologies are used to gather real-time geodata for actionable intelligence or provide routing guidance to their customers with mobile applications that technology companies build and support. In regards to the mobile applications, this is where SDKs come in handy, but in this blog I’ll be focusing on APIs.
The 5 Most Important Location APIs in the Tech Industry
There are many location APIs available, but there are five, in particular, that are most beneficial to technology companies.
#1 Geocoding APIs
A Geocoding API matches addresses with geographic coordinates. Three major functions are supported by a Geocoding API: address (forward geocode), reverse, and batch. Requests can be submitted as Key-Value pairs, JSON, and XML.
This API offers several benefits, such as:
- Location finding
Location finding displays points of interest, addresses, and locations on a map within a location-based application.
- Address verification
Address verification helps delivery drivers find and verify an address or make a business decision based upon the quality code of that address.
- Territory marking
Territory marking clearly delineates sales and delivery territories with ease.
With mapping, you have the option to store geocode results and display them on a map from any provider.
#2 Mapping API
A Mapping API allows you to create and configure a map image that includes custom POI icons, routes, or traffic data. It can also be combined with other APIs to automatically retrieve and highlight routes and to make street maps, satellite images, or hybrid maps come to life.
What are the benefits of a Mapping API? Street maps, satellite imagery, and hybrid mapping solutions provide a great foundation for any geospatial application. Benefits include:
Easily highlight your location at-a-glance.
Street, aerial, light, dark, or hybrid maps — you choose! You can even add banners to your map to include an additional layer of context.
- Easy implementation
Add static maps to your page without writing or embedding code.
- Plays well with others
Combine this API with an Icons API and watch your map come to life. You can place retina markers, circles, vias, and flags on your map and customize the markers to fit your brand or mood.
#3 Routing API
Efficient navigation is key to any business that relies on logistics. A Routing API is really a combination of two other APIs: a Traffic API and a Directions API. The Routing API optimizes routes before departure, as well as change routes in real-time for unexpected roadwork or other traffic delays.
So how do these two APIs work within the Routing API?
The Traffic API allows you to easily retrieve and display traffic flow and incidents for a given map area, including construction zones. Benefits of a Traffic API include:
- Route knowledge
Your users will be able to alter and choose routes based on current traffic conditions.
- Informed drivers
Drivers can quickly and easily retrieve and display traffic flow and incidents on a given map area.
The Directions API allows you to create custom routes. Whether it’s going from point A to point B or adding points C and D in between, this API will get you there. Benefits of a Directions API include:
- Route options
Users can customize the fastest and shortest routes, whether they’re driving, walking, or biking.
- Mileage reimbursement
Drivers can create accurate routes to submit for reimbursement. These routes will even include toll road information.
Avoid unexpected roadwork or add a new location by dragging and finding alternate routes on the fly.
#4 Search Ahead APIs
A Search Ahead API is a predictive search API that provides suggestions as a user inputs a query into a search bar.
This API enables technology companies to:
- Reduce errors and poor results
Errors due to misspelled street names and misplaced digits are a thing of the past. Autocomplete ensures a search for 1060 W. Addison St, instead of 1060 W. Adison.
- Provide a better user experience
User experience is improved with predictive text. Addresses and places are suggested as a user is typing.
- Get people to their destination more quickly
Spend less time on manual entry and more time getting users to their desired point of interest.
#5 Place Search API
A Place Search API provides a simple interface for performing spatial searches on hosted and remote data. Technology companies benefit from a Place Search API because they can:
- Find all things
Questions such as, “Which coffee shops are within a 5-minute drive from my house?” are easily answered.
- Usher in customers
With POI superiority, you’re able to help your customers find your exact location, rather than a competitor.
Search your own data or search millions of POIs from a database.
- Divide and conquer
Divvy up your sales territory or search and display your customer’s location on a map. You can also use additional search types such as custom polygon and line (corridor).
Wanting to Further Research Location APIs for the Technology Industry?
Continue your research with MapQuest for Business. Why? Because we’re the oldest player in the geospatial industry, with the most coded results in the United States for location-based data.
Research with one of our industry and product experts. If you would rather speak with an expert, send us an email at info@MapQuest.com or give us a call at 1 (800) 827-7950.
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