The new version of Geocoding API is released

The CloudMade Team is proud to release Geocoding v3 beta, the latest version of geocoding API services, designed to provide our users with even better data, search features and language options.

We’ve tried to take into consideration all the feedback from our users. So we’d like to share some key improvements of Geocoding v3 beta with you:

- Fuzzy search with better algorithm of error-tolerance
- Latest data with possibility to search through the different sources
- Handy query language with language choice
- Better data format

Our pricing for geocoding services has not changed:

- $15 per 100,000 transactions and first 100,000 transactions are free each month.

We hope that you enjoy Geocoding v3 beta!

July 24th, 2013 - Posted by Alex Golubenko in api, for developers, news, products, technologies

SSL Available On All CloudMade Services

As of today, SSL is available on all CloudMade services – Map Tiles, Routing, Geocoding.
From now on, to use SSL in your apps and websites, use these base URLs:

https://ssl_tiles.cloudmade.com

https://ssl_geocoding.cloudmade.com

https://ssl_routes.cloudmade.com

You attach your CloudMade API Key and query parameters as usual. For example:

https://ssl_tiles.cloudmade.com/8ee2a50541944fb9bcedded5165f09d9/1/256/15/17599/10746.png

https://ssl_geocoding.cloudmade.com/8ee2a50541944fb9bcedded5165f09d9/geocoding/v2/find.js?query=133+Fleet+street,+London,+UK

https://ssl_routes.cloudmade.com/8ee2a50541944fb9bcedded5165f09d9/api/
0.3/47.25976,9.58423,47.26117,9.59882/car/shortest.js

Available For Only $5 

WIth our SSL services you still get the same free tiers:

Map Tiles – first 500 K SSL tiles free
Geocoding – First 100 K SSL geocodes free
Routing – First 10 K SSL routes free

For any SSL requests you make above the free tier you’ll be charged an additional $5, as follows:

Map Tiles SSL $25 + $5 = $30 per 1M tiles
Geocoding SSL $15 + $5 = $20 per 100 K request
Routing SSL $15 + $5 = $20 per 100 K requests

June 21st, 2013 - Posted by Alex Golubenko in api, for developers, technologies

The Next Four Years at CloudMade

Four years ago in February 2009 we launched CloudMade’s developer program. Fast forward to February 2013 and we’re launching the platform that kickstarts the next four years for CloudMade and our customers. What’s happened in the last four years and what do the next four have in store for CloudMade and the thousands of developers, OEMs and enterprises that build on our platform?

The First Four Years

Four years ago we set out to build a platform that would let developers of all types all around the world build exciting location aware apps, websites and experiences.  We focused on three areas to make a difference in:

1. Create Something Different

We created the Style Editor – the first tool of its kind to let developers create beautiful custom map styles. We innovated ontop of, and improved, open source tools like Mapnik to create a unique tool chain. For the first time, developers and designers could come to a website and use a point and click interface to create a custom map style. When they were done, the style they had created was instantly available through an HTTP API that could be accessed from any platform. Since we launched the Style Editor over 15,000 map styles have been created and we’ve served up billions of custom map tiles. Developers like Red Robot Labs have created experiences in which the map seamlessly blends with the game design. Transport Agencies like Transport for London have created finessed styles that help their users navigate with ease. Map visualization pioneers like Movity (since acquired by Trulia) created styles that let their data take prominence. Whatever the use case, the Style Editor provided a way for thousands of developers to express themselves through their websites and apps.

2. Build for Developers

Most of you reading this are developers. You’re one of the most sought after players in the mobile ecosystem today. Google, Apple, Facebook court you and spend millions of dollars to get you to build apps on their platforms.  Over the years we’ve invested in CloudMade’s developer program and now over 25,000 developers on web and mobile build projects and businesses on our platform.  That investment is set to continue.

3. The Best Maps

In 2009 OpenStreetMap was the source of map data for CloudMade. OSM and the incredible community of volunteers around the world who spend their free time building a free map of the world has become the inevitable de-facto choice for mapping. Apple, Twitter, Foursquare and countless other business rely on OSM to deliver the best maps in the world.

Over the last four years there’s been an explosion of accessible, exciting geo-data and a large focus of the new CloudMade platform we’re launching today is accessing, organizing and making sense of the huge amount of map data out there today.

This post talks about how we’re building out the original CloudMade APIs for Map Tiles, Routing, Geocoding – making them faster, keeping them rock solid stable, making them cheaper and passing on the savings to you.

Starting The Next Four Years

As we listened to our customers and looked at the market over the years after we launched CloudMade, we noticed some key trends that shaped the platform we’re launching today:

1. An explosion of geo content and the tools to create it

The kind of crowd sourcing that OpenStreetMap pioneered combined with the explosion of smartphones and cheap data plans has lead to an explosion of geo content. From Yelp to Foursquare to Facebook Places to Food Spotting to real time traffic to weather to movie times and restaurant reservations. Where 4 years ago there was only OpenStreetMap and a smattering of other pioneers, now we’re flooded with content. Now the problems aren’t “where do I find a map” they’re “how do I make sense of it all?”, “how do know this place is the same across all of these different sources?”, “how do I manage this much data?”, “how do I analyze this much data?”, “how do I route across this much data?”, “how do I manage to access so many different APIs?”, “how do I give my user the results they’re looking for”. We are certain that there is going to be more and more geodata being created over the next few years. We have little idea what kind of new geo content is going to emerge over the next 4 years.  The platform we’re building on is designed for this.

2. Pervasive location. Intermittent internet.

To add to the complication, our customers from large OEMs to independent developers told us that whilst geo-location (the raw latitude and longitude of the device) was pervasive, available through all major mobile OSs, increasingly available to web apps and available to OEMs through low cost GPS or WiFi positioning, access to the internet was far from pervasive. App developers told us about the inevitable network lags whilst accessing services over mobile networks. OEMs told us about new categories of devices they planned that would be intermittently connected to the internet through WiFi or Bluetooth. Tablets, on-dash GPS navigators, in-dash automotive systems, watches and other wearables all share this dilemma – pervasive location but intermittent internet.

3. Apps, Apps, Apps

The app phenomena has deeply impacted us and our customers. For developers it created a market place and a business model that let their businesses grow and thrive. For OEMs, apps have not only driven the smartphone explosion, they’ve elevated consumers’ expectations when it comes to the quality and content of the user experience. GPS navigators that used to be about getting from A-B find it hard to compete with Google Maps. Your TV is not just a screen for the cable companies, its an interface through which you interact with the world. Consumers are demanding the kind of slick experiences that iOS and Android developers craft across all of their devices and screens – from their car to their home and their office.

4. More Devices. Not Less.

Convergence is all very well. Sure, I don’t have a camera in my pocket any more. Now I have a Nike Fuel Band on my wrist, a Kindle Fire in my jacket, an iPad Mini in my bag. There are more connected devices distributed more evenly throughout the the world than ever before. This poses a problem for developers and experience creators who must now master the art of creating apps that span multiple devices with many different use cases, use modes, screen sizes and platforms. Cisco estimates that there will be more connected devices than people in the world by 2017. How is your app, your business going to capitalize on this reality?

Three New Products from CloudMade

To address these major trends in our industry, today we’re launching a new range of products: the “Mapsafe” family and the “Hybrid Data” family and a new range of CloudMade SDKs, starting with Android. Each of these new products has been built from the ground up over the last 18 months to address the trends we and our customers have seen. Each of them use a cloud-device architecture that distributes computation between the cloud and the device, making the most of the abilities of both. Let’s take a brief look at what they can do.

Hybrid: Always Up To Data Geo Content

“Hybrid” made it possible for GPS OEM Magellan to create “SmartGPS” – the world’s first WiFi enabled personal navigation device (PND). CloudMade’s Hybrid technology does a number of things for SmartGPS:

- Enables the uniquely colorful, information rich user interface that is SmartGPS’ design signature
- Facilitates lightening fast search through a vast database of location content from a single interface
- Provides a single server-side database and API for content from a vast number of data providers including Yelp, Foursquare, OPIS (gas prices), PhantomALERT (speed cams), weather, Factual, OpenStreetMap, TomTom and more.
- Keeps an up-to-date copy of this data available on the SmartGPS device at all times, trickle syncing the local database via WiFi, a Bluetooth tether or a USB connection whenever available.
- Minimizes the use of local disk space on the device by profiling the user and selectively syncing only the content that the user requires
- Provides a singe on-device search API that delivers a single entity across multiple data providers. So when you search for a your favorite coffee shop on SmartGPS, you get a result that can include data from Yelp, Foursquare, Factual, OpenStreetMap and other sources
-Facilities on-device commerce, letting users upgrade to premium versions of datasets like PhantomALERT’s road safety dataset.

The Hybrid technology opens up a vast world of geo content that exists today, making it available to OEMs and developers building cross device experiences. But most importantly Hybrid is future proof. We cannot even imagine the type of geo data that’s going to be created over the next four years – no-one knows what will follow Foursquare, Yelp, Food Spotting. Whatever does follow, Hybrid will access, store, curate and make it available to your apps, devices and services.

Mapsafe: A Personal Location Cloud

Mapsafe” is to your places what Evernote is to your notes. Use the Mapsafe API to save a favorite place, route, appointment, geo-tagged photo or any other location content on one device and it is automatically synced across all of the user’s devices. Using an intermittently connected device? No problem! Mapsafe’s intelligent synchronization let’s your users create, read, update and delete in offline mode and have the changes made next time the device is online. Want to share a location with friends? Mapsafe makes it easy. Want to capture user feedback and edits? We have that base covered too. Mapsafe uses the Hybrid layer to keep all of the changes in sync across a multitude of devices, screens and apps.

SmartGPS sports a number of very cool features that are enabled by Mapsafe:

SmartGPS is part of an ecosystem of apps, websites and devices that all interact with each other. A Magellan user planning a trip can research the best hotels on their tablet from the comfort of their sofa and quickly save the places they find to their Wishlist on the Magellan “Via” web portal. Powered by Mapsafe, their Wishlist is automatically synced with their SmartGPS. Throw away the pen and paper!

The Magellan Active group have taken their product even further with the help of Mapsafe. The Magellan Active website and developer API, let users store their runs, walks, cycles and associated GPS trace, heart rate, cadence and other fitness data in a Mapsafe powered cloud from where they can grant access to third party apps and services to access the data. For example, you could let a snowboarding website access your snowboarding data, let a marathon coaching services access your runs and let your personal trainer have access to the whole lot.

Cross Platform SDKs: A Developer’s Best Friend

The third new product we’re announcing today is a completely reworked cross platform SDK that provides a comprehensive set of tools for developers building location aware applications. To scratch the surface, here are a few of the features:
- Bitmap map tile handling
- Vector map rendering
- Hybrid and Mapsafe integration
- Sophisticated map matching
- Fast on device search
- Fast on device routing
- Turn by Turn Navigation with spoken route guidance

We built all of this in a portable C/C++ core and have native APIs for iOS (Objective-C), Android (Java and NDK) and Windows (C++) devices. Where you need to access data directly from a web service, we have HTTP APIs that are all accessible from the popular Leaflet HTML5 maps API.

From Here On

Whether you are a large OEM or new startup building On-Dash or In-Dash navigation, Fitness and Outdoors devices, a website planning your new maps portal, a logistics company planning your new truck and fleet solution, or an app developer building the next Foursquare, the kind of innovation you’ve seen from us over the last 4 years is only a taste of things to come. We’re can’t wait to build the future with you. If you share our excitement, get in touch. Leave a comment, drop us an email. We’d love to talk and we’d love even more to do business with you.

February 25th, 2013 - Posted by Nick Black in api, customers, for developers, for OEMs

More examples of CloudMade-powered apps, more great ways to use location

Our app gallery is growing fast, and with every new addition it’s clear that combining  CloudMade’s tools and services with great ideas and skills from developers results in some extremely powerful, compelling products. Take a look at some of  the latest updates to our gallery below:

Galileo Offline Maps is a mobile app that can be used on a daily basis or while traveling. This app allows users to import maps from a computer to an iPhone or iPad and then view them in offline mode. Being able to choose from five attractive CloudMade map styles makes the use of the app a real pleasure. CloudMade tools used to create this app include GeocodingRouting and Style Editor.

galileo_ipad

“CloudMade provides plenty of stylish and good-looking map styles which please even the most fastidious users.” – Evgen Bodunov, galileo-app.com

Travelers who own Macs should be really excited about Knapsack 2 app. This new version of Outer Level’s personal travel planner, built with our Geocoding and Web Maps Studio, adds interactive maps with street level detail and world-wide search. Knapsack allows you to lay out your travel plans, destinations, activities, and can be even used as a trip journal.

knapsackMainMapScreen

“Our customers wanted a searchable world map with street level detail and CloudMade was the perfect solution.” – Jon Trainer, Knapsack

iGMap proves that products created with CloudMade tools are not only really cool, but can also meet the most diverse needs. iGMap iPhone app is a virtual GPS designed for use with the desktop flight simulators. It provides a wireless hand-held moving map display to aid navigation, especially useful on VFR flights, while saving valuable screen real-estate on the desktop, and uses iOS devices to display the current position of the aircraft. The app was built with CloudMade’s StyleEditor and Web Maps API.

igmap2

“CloudMade services allow a small company to deliver cutting edge mapping solutions while targeting a niche market – without the prohibitive cost.” – Fermin Fernandez, FSWidgets

Thanks to developers of Map My Tracks, outdoor sports and fitness enthusiasts have their own social network now. With this website they can easily track, review & share outdoor activities with friends & family. Map My Tracks provides a comprehensive range of tools to help better understand how your training session went and keep a central log of all your outdoor activities.

mapmytracks

“The flexibility of CloudMade’s API mean that we can always deliver the maps we want.” – Nick Tatt, Map My Tracks

If you like Map My Tracks and plan to use it, you should really consider complementing it with this OutFront app. Not only will this app allow you to measure speed, pace, calories burned, duration, elevation gain/loss and much more for each activity you do, but it will also give you an an easy way to share information about your outdoor activities live on Map My  Tracks, Facebook or Twitter. CloudMade Map TilesStatic Maps and iPhone SDK were used to create this app.

outfront

“Using CloudMade’s iPhone SDK made it super easy to add maps to our iPhone app. That, and reliability make CloudMade our first choice map provider.” - Nick TattMap My Tracks

Cycling fans will enjoy using Bike Hub, also  called a ‘satnav for cyclists’. It displays clever short-cuts and bicycle-friendly routes on OpenCycleMap, cutting journey times for many users. The feature I really like is ‘bike shop finder – a simple button that can call up UK bike shops within a six mile radius of an iPhone. Map Tiles and iPhone SDK are CloudMade tools used in this app.

BikeHubScreen

Cloudmade API provides the slippy maps within the app and helps to fast-track the development of all the map interactions that users have.”Carlton Reid, BikeHub.co.uk

Want to see more CloudMade-powered apps?  Check out our Application Gallery.

Inspired by these cool examples and feel that you could create something great yourself? Sign up to our developer zone and try out our free tools and services.

November 2nd, 2010 - Posted by in api, featured apps, for developers, iPhone, style editor

iPhone Static Framework

Problem with iPhone code sharing

As we all know Apple has not left developers opportunity to create frameworks for iPhone. However, there are a lot of situations when code has to be shared between different projects or even distributed to others developers.

Alternatives
There are a few approaches for the code sharing or distributing. Firstly, code can be shared/distributed as a source code. Although this approach is quite straightforward and XCode provides a good mechanism for including XCode project to another project, developers have to do some extra steps such as setup dependencies and path for headers. On the one hand it seems quite simple for the experienced developers, on the other it might be a problem for the new developers .

Second approach is to distribute code as a static library. This approach is well known and is used widely in Linux/Unix development thus a lot of developers are familiar with it. However, there are some disadvantages of using it in iPhone development which relate to dynamic nature of Objective-C. The problem is that static libraries are normally used for C/C++ code which has neither properties nor categories and so when, for example, Objective-C category is wrapped in static library a developer has explicitly to set additional linker options:

-ObjC
-all_load

If developer forgets to set the options mentioned above he will get runtime error “unrecognized selector sent to instance”

Static Framework
The most suitable alternative, in my opinion, is a ’static framework’. The idea behind is to force compiler to believe that it uses normal iPhone framework whereas shared libraries are substituted by static libraries. Thus if you have the code you want to share as a static library it is quite easy to transform it into a framework. Afterwords such framework can be added to a project without any extra efforts from the developer’s side.

How to create a Static framework
Since there is no option to build frameworks for iPhone in XCode I recommend using a static framework. To build it into XCode MacOS framework template should be used. Static framework has the same structure as a normal framework. Only a few extra steps have to be done:
link together static library for iPhone Simulator and iPhone Device
add file from the previous step to framework bundle

To make it easy we will write a shell script which does all the work. We will use a lipo utility which is distributed with XCode installation. This utility allows to link a few libraries into one file. Afterwords this file will be copied to the framework bundle and appropriate links will be created.

FRAMEWORK=”${BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR}/${PRODUCT_NAME}.framework”
lipo \”${BUILD_DIR}/${CONFIGURATION}-iphoneos/libDev.a” “${BUILD_DIR}/${CONFIGURATION}-iphonesimulator/lib Sim.a” -create -output “${FRAMEWORK}/Versions/Current/${PRODUCT_NAME}”cd “${FRAMEWORK}” && ln -sf “Versions/Current/${PRODUCT_NAME}” ./

This script should be added into a project as a build phase script through the project menu. As a result we get a static framework containing code which now can be easily shared.

LINKS

Mac OS Frameworks

lipo man page

Static Framework

May 10th, 2010 - Posted by Nick Black in api, for developers, iPhone

PERL library updated

Short post for those of us using Perl. Perl library, found at http://developers.cloudmade.com/projects/show/perl-api and http://search.cpan.org/~gdm/Geo-Cloudmade-0.2/ has been updated by its author and maintainer Dmytro Gorbunov. Great job, Dmytro!

The latest version mirrors the geocoding API V2 by exposing two simple methods for forward and reverse geocoding, along with one method to access tiles, and yet another to access routing API. Clear and concise – just the way Perl is. Check out examples at http://search.cpan.org/~gdm/Geo-Cloudmade-0.2/lib/Geo/Cloudmade.pm.

November 24th, 2009 - Posted by in api, for developers

Tesco’s troubles and reverse geocoding

Talk about coincidence. Just as I was about to share a couple of numbers from our geocoding traffic report, someone sent me a link to an interesting read by Nick Lansley of Tesco. In a nutshell, he, as well as dozens (hundreds?) of other iPhone developers have suddenly found themselves cut off from Google geocoding.

Back to our latest traffic report. I thought it was interesting enough to share some of it with everyone. While it is expected that all of our products show usage growth over time, the usage of geocoding has simply skyrocketed lately. According to our traffic report, the number of geocoding requests has increased more than ten-fold over the last four weeks, without any sign that the trend is changing. I am also quite impressed by adoption of version 2 of our geocoding API. Given that most requests come from mobile applications that have necessarily longer update cycles, the new API’s 30% share of traffic in only three weeks is really a large number. The most popular request type?

In the meantime, we’ve been working on better support for EU-style addressing, which will be available real soon. Also in the works, fast and accurate US addressing which will be brought online by the end of next month. More to come…

October 30th, 2009 - Posted by in api, iPhone, products

New geocoding engine delivers results up to 24 times faster

While no one was watching, we deployed the latest version of our geocoding engine. The key objective for this release has been performance and stability, and I am sure it is immediately noticeable. Benchmarking based on actual user queries have shown that it is up to 24 times faster than the previous implementation for certain classes of requests. Even for simple, one-word queries, it is up to three times faster.

Along with the new engine, we are introducing new Geocoding API V2. In an effort to simplify usage, we have reduced the number of methods from eleven to only one, without sacrificing a single bit of its flexibility. The old API? It, too, uses the new engine to deliver faster results, but we do encourage everyone to switch to the new API as soon as you have a chance to.

In the meantime, we are already working on the next release. The main focus will be relevancy and better parsing of freeform queries. Stay tuned!

October 8th, 2009 - Posted by in api, iPhone, products

Your Future is Customized – State of the Map Presentation from CloudMade

In July this year, 250 of the leading lights in community mapping and geo application development gathered in Amsterdam for the annual OpenStreetMap Foundation conference The State of the Map. Video and audio recordings form the three day conference are being processed one by one by a dedicated team of volunteers who recently published the video of Nick Black’s talk: “Your Future is Customized”.

The talk asks why most current users of geodata experience maps through one of two ways: in car sat navs, or online mapping portals and looks towards a future of app stores, specialized map data and geo applications that match the exact needs of consumers.

Enable your applications with CloudMade – Nick Black (CloudMade) from State of the Map 2009 on Vimeo.

Follow along with the slides from the presentation:

August 28th, 2009 - Posted by in api, for developers, geodata, openstreetmap, products

Fly Through Berlin

CloudMade partners, Cartotype have produced this nice animation that shows a fly-through of Berlin. Cartotype produce a range of libraries that render maps across different mobile platforms:

Cartotype have been experimenting with CloudMade’s Vector Server which can stream map data to any connected device where it can be rendered on the fly. There’s a lot of new features planned for the vector server, including multiple outputs formats (XML, JSON, OSM) and a fully featured API that will let you select which parts of the map data are returned to the client.

If you like what you see from Cartotype, you can hear them talk at the State of the Map conference which is being held from the 10th – 12th July 2009 in Amsterdam. Click here for more details.

June 15th, 2009 - Posted by Nick Black in api, cartography, for developers, geodata, news, products

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