Google Maps welcomes the new Roads API

Mobile adoption continues to grow and location-aware apps are becoming a big part of everyday life.  On your device you can find a fitness app measuring how far you’ve walked, transit apps notifying you when the next bus arrives, and driving apps to help you find the best route home. The Google Maps APIs have been a key part of apps that are changing the way you exercise, commute and live.

Today we’re introducing a new API that makes location-based mobile development easier. The Google Maps Roads API provides a snap-to-road feature that lets you create useful visualizations from raw GPS locations, turning jittery GPS tracks into smooth paths that follow the road around curves and corners. The Google Maps Roads API also provides speed limit data for paid Google Maps API developers. Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 11.03.56 AM.png
To see for yourself how the Roads API improves routing and displays speed data, check out our demo.

To demonstrate the benefits that Roads API can provide for your app, we've partnered with Dash, a connected driving app. Dash provides real-time diagnostics for automobiles so that drivers can save time and money by driving better and more intelligently. One key challenge for Dash was not being able to collect enough information points to draw visually stunning lines on the map without creating a drain on the device’s battery. With the Roads API, Dash can sample less frequently and still get accurate and beautiful visualizations of routes, even on roads that are curvy or otherwise hard to visualize with less than optimal sample rates.

Let’s take a look at how the Roads API snap-to-road feature is improving the Dash app. You can see in the first app screenshot below, without the Roads API, the route doesn’t make sense unless you’re jumping a few medians, driving through the woods, and somehow not getting pulled over for ignoring basic traffic rules. The second app screenshot shows the same route after the Roads API had been implemented into Dash and is a much smoother, more accurate route.

The Dash team says they are “pretty psyched” the Roads API has optimized their visualizations and we’re pretty psyched they are happy with the result. To learn more about the Roads API, please take a look at our DevByte video, check out the documentation or download the updated client libraries  to get started.

Snap-to-road is available for free with a limit of 2500 queries per day. For the Google Maps API paid developer, the Roads API also gives you access to speed limit data from all over the world. Simply contact your account manager to get the Roads API enabled for your account. If you do not know who your account manager is, you can find it out by filing a non-technical case in the support portal. To get in touch with us to become a Google Maps paid customer, please reach out here.

Posted by Elena Kelareva, Product Manager, Google Maps APIs