Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lonely Planet API

Mashed08: London, June 21/2 2008I'm currently attending BBC Mashed, a two day hackathon event in London. The big geo-related news here is the imminent release of The Lonely Planet API (attendees at Mashed have been given access to the API so expect the general release very soon).

The Lonely Planet API will give map developers access to Lonely Planet's huge resource of geographical data, including:
  • 'points of interest' for locations throughout the world
  • 'destination profiles' - with historical and cultural information
  • tens of thousands of professionally taken photographs
This API will undoubtedly prove very popular and should lead to many exciting Google Maps mash-ups.

I briefly spoke to Director of Global Business Development at Lonely Planet, Chris Boden this morning and he showed me Lonely Planet's own mash-up for mobile phones, The Lonely Planet M-site

The Lonely Planet M-Site utilises the points of interest, the destination profiles and the photographs that are available in the API and tags them on Google Static Maps.

The site couldn't be easier to use - simply enter your location and click on 'what's around me?'. You are then shown a static map of your location tagged with points of interest. You can refine your search by selecting 'Sleep', 'Play', 'Eat', 'Shop' or 'See', which should be pretty self-explanatory so I won't bother explaining them.

I've already used The Lonely Planet M-site to find a restaurant for this evening. I now can't wait to see what the mapping community can build using Lonely Planet's new API.

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