OpenChargeMap is a neat little service designed to help those with electric cars find places to charge up. With gas prices going the way they are, electrics are becoming a trendy alternative, and with the new Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf offering good choices for the average consumer, more and more people are going electric. If you’re one of those, however, there’s always a hitch: finding a place to “fill up”. Now you’re covered and with the OpenChargeMap API you can integrate the service into other things.
On the homepage the service is described as follows:
The OpenChargeMap project provides a publically accessible database of consolidated electric vehicle charging point information.
Data Consumers: You can access our latest charging point information using our API. You can use this data in your own apps, databases, websites etc and we even provide helpful ‘widgets’ you can include on your own pages to provide maps and to gather data submissions from your users.
Data Providers: You can supply us with your latest charge point information regardless of whether your organisation owns, operates or simply catalog the available charge points.
The API is really easy to integrate, allowing for example a simple embed of the map, such as at ZeroCarbonWorld.com. They also have methods for accessing the data directly within programs. The data returned can be in many formats, including the usual suspects of JSON and XML, but also including such things as RSS and .csv. At the moment, direct writing access is impossible, but that is on the drawing board. However, any of the information in the database is easily accessible in some pretty good formats.
Now, there are a lot of good uses for this. First of all, this thing absolutely needs a mobile app. A truly intelligent mobile app would do a mashup between this and a GPS program, allowing you to search for and then get directions to the nearest charge point, or use it to integrate charge points along your way for long trips.