MapQuest Opens Map APIs

Denver, Colorado-based MapQuest has opened up new, mapping and routing technology through free APIs. The company said today that its new MapQuest OpenAPI will allow web developers to access mapping, geocoding, and routing tools for non-commercial use. The move comes as free mapping APIs from search engine giants Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have begun to muscle in on the company's traditional mapping clients. MapQuest said that it believes that the tools will allow developers to create useful "mashups" which combine web data with mapping capabilities. The launch of its OpenAPI program came along with a competition, where MapQuest will award a prize and a trip to the Where 2.0 conference to the most innovative mapping application built on its platform. MapQuest is a wholly owned subsidiary of America Online.