Awesome APIs to Help Organizations Control their Moving Parts – Courtesy of Google.
Google has launched two cool Map APIs to help businesses that have a lot of moving parts have full control of various movements from within their systems. With the Google Maps Tracks API and Google Maps Geolocation API fleet management is a lot made easy. Organisations can easily build their own location-based applications leveraging these APIs.
Courtesy of Nabil Naghdy, Google Maps Product Manager;
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 API, 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.
Organisations can easily take advantage of geo-fencing technigue in Google Maps Tracks API to 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.
Alike App – Location-Based Recommends Of Nearby Venues That Are Just Like Your Favorites
There are plenty of local discovery apps that let’s you find what you need in unfamiliar neighbourhood. But the problem is that you are always stuck with trusting the recommendations of strangers who might have really horrible taste… New iPhone App called Alike is trying to solve this issue.
What is it about
Alike is designed to let you know about nearby restaurants, bars, and cafes that are like those you’re already a fan of. It’s pretty simple to use: You just open it up, type in the name of one of your favourite spots, and it’ll suggest others like it in your proximity. The app ranks recommendations based on how “alike” they are to your search queries, allows users to see how far away a place is, and lets them provide feedback about whether they think one place is like another. Than of course you can share the venue on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
How it works
Alike is one of those start-ups that tries to make use out of huge amount of data from recommendation services. Founder Maria Zhang is a big data and machine learning enthusiast who previously worked at Microsoft on the Personal Relevance team at MSN. And as a result, Alike is more of a big data platform than a pure local recommendations app. The real goal here is to collect data based on user behaviour and response, and help the Alike engine improve its recommendations and the suggestions it makes as time goes on.
We reached times where the problem of any app and services is not lack of data but rather too much data. The challenge is to make a smart use out of it therefore I’m a huge fun of any kind of location-based analytic platforms. Alike is a the begging of the road but it seems they are doing a great job.