Category Archives: Mobile

CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack: Verizon Mapkit API

I’m spending more time building, what I’ve dubbed the CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack, a list of APIs, platforms and tools that you can use in your local-mobile applications.  With the latest move by Foursquare to join the OpenStreetMaps movement, I’m focused on finding the best mapping tools for the CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack.

First on my list of alternative mapping solutions is Verizon Mapkit API, which provides location-based services that include maps, search, traffic and static directions.  The Verizon Mapkit API is centered on a map object that provides a tile-based solution supporting multiple layers such road map/satellite/hybrid, traffic, and routes–with built-in controls for standard map operations such as panning and zooming using the host device’s native gestures.

The MapKit also provides a full set of search APIs delivering geocoding, geolocation and access to local content:

  • Address Search (Geocoding)
  • Reverse Geocoding
  • Local Search
  • Fuel Price Search
  • Movie Theaters
  • Movie Show-Times
  • Events
  • Event Venues
  • Traffic Incidents
  • Static Directions

The Verizon Mapkit API does not have a web API currently, but does support native application development on Android, iOS, Blackberry and Brew MP platforms. At first glance you may think the mapping solution is just for Verizon devices, but it can be used across multiple platforms.

The Verizon Mapkit API is a perfect addition to the CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack. They offer a robust mapping platform that native mobile apps can take advantage of. The Mapkit API is part of the Verizon NavBuilder Inside LBS SDK, which comes with other APIs and tools I will be adding to the CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social Stack in future blog posts.

HyperLocal App Idea: Historical Stories

I’ve always been a history buff. If I hadn’t discovered programming in high school I would have ended up going to college for a history degree. In my travels I spend a lot of time walking around finding historical sites and buildings, to learn whatever I can.

When I was in Philadelphia, New York and Boston a couple of weeks I kept stumbling across amazing old buildings, but knew nothing about them. I would check-in using Foursquare in hopes of using the location to find more information about the place, later when online.

I was thinking it would be nice to have a Foursquare like check-in app, where I could look for sites around my location, check in at them and either get more textual information for reading or tap into some sort of audio podcast for listening to historical stories as I walk.

In my research I’ve come across APIs InfoChimps, providing access to Wikipedia articles associated with geographic information, and I’m sure if I looked harder I could find more resources. It would take several APIs like CityGrid for places, Foursquare for check-in, InfoChimps for Wikipedia, and a couple other tools for text to audio and other richer places data to augment what CityGrid offers.

A historical stories mobile app would definitely take some engineering, but its something you could find a wide audience of history buffs to use, and easily monetize using CityGrid mobile advertising. Wish i had more time–let me know if your interested.