Mapping company “democratising” GIS

The global mapping leaders, HERE Technologies are promoting their efforts to open up their tools and services, making them free to use via their developer portal.

The company’s Location for Developers common platforms tools feature JavaScript to add feature-rich interactive maps and location services, REST APIs to allow integration of powerful location features into apps, and map and location services for native Android/iOS apps.

The developer tools allow them to add location awareness, geofencing, custom routing and more features using HERE’s digital maps, while there are cloud-based environments for data exchange and the ability to create custom maps without any coding.

“I like to think of it as ‘democratising’ Geographic Information Systems,” commented Alec Beale, Data Acquisition and Business Development at HERE in the UK. “We’re also making efforts aimed at helping the wider developer community understand and interact with location based data with hackathons, so people stop thinking of maps as reference and start thinking of them as tools.”

He explained that a new initiative HERE Data Layers helps developers create map-based solutions without all the “excess noise” present in so many maps.

“Instead of a single cluttered expensive map, we’re offering an a-la-carte type system that lets you purchase only what your map requires, whether that’s just navigable roads, land-use information, or building footprints,” he explained. “It’s available for nearly seventy cities around the world, including London, Birmingham and Manchester, with data layers splitting map information into 10 categories that cover over 500 different attributes per city.” The map data is provided as GeoJSON format layers which can be used individually or combined for multiple use cases ranging from map display, spatial analytics, business intelligence, and machine learning.

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