Ask someone what makes a map and you’re likely to hear that it’s the roads or the physical characteristics. A new mashup is questioning whether you can still have a map without these details, while at the same time showing off the map styles feature that Google Maps announced in May.
Online driving directions pioneer MapQuest had the first free directions web service a year ago. Now it followed up with the same engine based on the wiki-like Open Street Map data. The new, open service follows an open version of the MapQuest tiles.
U.S. government agencies may be tossing down nearly a million dollars each to include the premier version of Google Maps on their sites. The payments aren’t going directly to Google, but an Ohio service provider Onix Networking. Onix lists several options on Apps.gov, a marketplace for technology services and applications.
Look out, CloudMade. Google announced a new feature in its Maps API that lets developers control the underlying map imagery. Map Styling gives you control of colors and whether types of features are included in the map. Previously this level of map styling was only available by paying for underlying map data, or using the Open Street Map project that CloudMade is based upon.
CloudMade has conveniently side stepped this issue by allowing its maps to be collaboratively edited, making it a kind of “Wikipedia for maps”. The results have been quite impressive, as TechCrunch reports.
This past week 15 new mashups were added to our mashup directory and 37 different APIs were used to build them. Some of the newer or less frequently seen APIs include CorpWatch, ImageShack, LongURL, Scribd, Scribd iPaper, Tweetmeme and TweetPhoto. The most often used APIs this week are Flickr, Google Maps and Twitter. And the most commonly used types of APIs were Office (6 APIs, 6 mashups), Social (3 APIs, 7 mashups) and Video (3 APIs, 3 mashups).
There’s a new way to get thousands of local points of interest into your web maps: the CloudMade Data Market Place. There’s a fee for using the data, but otherwise it’s as easy as the standard CloudMade API (our CloudMade API profile). For a few hundred dollars per year, you can add any restaurant in the U.S., hospitals in the UK to your map, or one of about 80 datasets.
CloudMade, a geospatial services provider that utilizes the open source map data from OpenStreetMap (OSM) (our OpenStreetMap API Profile), recently released a new CloudMade Platform that includes access to various mapping tools and APIs for geo developers including Geocoding and Geosearch, Location Management,Map Tiles, Routing, and Vector tiles (alpha). CloudMade says that the combination of the rapidly growing community sourced mapping data of OSM and their new APIs are the future of mapping.