Urban Mapping has released its latest API that taps into its database of 60 public transit systems in the U.S. and U.K. This will be available for developers of online and mobile mapping and local search applications.
Transit information could be a valuable addition to existing online mapping products that are competing hard to gain market share on the leading MapQuest. The past few years have seen lots of integrations of traffic data, 3G imaging and other features to differentiate products.
Transit information is a good utility that could join these features, as it’s currently offered by pure-plays like HopStop. And this could be a good time for public transit data integration, given reductions in consumer spending. The API will also have usefulness in other applications and products beyond mapping.
On a side note, this comes full circle for Urban Mapping and its “Panamap,” a product invented many years ago by CEO Ian White. The physical map shows holographic overlays of transit systems, streets and neighborhoods that each “come to light” when the map is tilted. The Panmap was recently resurrected in physical form, and the ideas behind it will continue to manifest in the company’s Urbanware APIs.