We’ve seen that the Google Maps API gets the lion’s share of Web 2.0-style mashups, but the overall market share leader in online mapping is still dotcom veteran MapQuest. And though they may have been behind in this part of the market they’re looking to make up for lost time with their their announcement of the new MapQuest Platform: Free Edition. This substantial new release replaces their first generation open API launched almost exactly two years ago. We’ve updated our MapQuest directory profile with technical details on the lasted API.
As you can see on their Why Join? page, one of key reasons for using the API is that now there’s no limit on the number of standard and tiled maps, geocodes, and routes and no fees for publicly available websites. This is in contrast to most of the other well know public mapping APIs which eventually reach a ceiling above which developers must work-out a for-fee contract with the provider either for map displays or geocodes. (Note that MapQuest still offers commercial, for-fee services starting at $5,000 per year that provides additional enterprise grade requirements like SLAs and phone support.)
This strategy reflects just how competitive this space is with over over 50 mapping-related APIs.
Note that in addition to our new ProgrammableWeb Mapping API and Mashup Dashboard we also now have a dedicated Mapping RSS feed that includes any and all mapping related news from PW including new APIs, mashups, news and code.