Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two new ways to add location intelligence to your apps


Cross-posted from yesterday's post to the Google Enterprise Blog, where we announced two new enterprise features.


Businesses have a lot of moving parts – sometimes quite literally. Map-based information is useful for any business that relies on a fleet of vehicles, employees who travel, or other mobile resources. To help organizations build their own location-enabled applications, we're launching two new APIs:
  • Google Maps Tracks API allows an organization to build applications that can store, display and analyze GPS data on a map.  The API is built on top of Google’s reliable cloud infrastructure and offers specialized features such as geo-fencing.

  • Google Maps Geolocation API enables an application or device to determine its own location without the use of GPS by looking up the locations of nearby wifi access points and cell towers. By limiting GPS usage, a device can save battery life and work indoors or in remote areas.

The Google Maps Tracks and Geolocation APIs allow an organization to develop customized location-based applications to meet specific business needs. The Google Maps Tracks API, for example, can provide a fleet management company with tools for analyzing data from past and present deliveries. By seeing routing information on a familiar Google Map, they can determine which routes can save time and fuel. Using the Google Maps Geolocation API, the fleet management company can equip its vehicles with advanced positioning capabilities.  Even in dense city blocks where GPS dropout is common, a dispatcher can still locate its fleet.  

The Google Maps Tracks API also allows businesses to take advantage of a technique called geo-fencing, where a company can create a virtual region on a map to notify a device when it enters or exits a predefined area. For example, the same fleet management company could set up notifications that would automatically alert drivers whenever they were 10 miles outside their delivery territory and need to turn around. Automated notifications could reduce dependence on a central dispatcher, allowing the delivery company to use their employees more efficiently.



Today, more than 800,000 developers worldwide use Google Maps APIs to create their own applications based on the unique capabilities of Google Maps. With the launch of Google Maps Tracks API and Google Maps Geolocation API, companies can use real-time location-based information to make their operation run more smoothly and efficiently.


Posted by Nabil Naghdy, Google Maps Product Manager