MapQuest Directions API


The MapQuest Directions API allows you to access the patented routing algorithms that power through simple HTTP requests. The Directions API supports various types of requests, such as fastest and shortest routes, pedestrian, bicycle, and multimodal routes.  Optimized routing, date and time routing, and route matrix functionality is also available through the API.  


Directions API Resources


Instructions, code samples, and demos all combined in easy-to-follow, easy-to-use documentation.


Discuss and collaborate with developers who are using the Directions API.




Provide an origin and a destination address (or latitude and longitude coordinates) and receive the turn-by-turn directions narrative, road shield images, turn direction images, street names, static maneuver maps, and the route shape in a raw or compressed format.  Provide multiple address in between the origin and destination to create a multipoint route for up to 50 locations.


Route types

The MapQuest Directions API can calculate the fastest and shortest driving routes as well as pedestrian, bicycle, and multimodal routes, which is a combination of public transit (if available) and walking directions.


Route options

Routes and directions can be customized by setting options -- like avoiding ferries, highways, toll roads, or even specific links in the road network; timed conditions, driving style, vehicle fuel efficiency, locale, boundary displays, side-of-street display, and more.


Optimized routing

Optimized routing will re-order all intermediate stops between the origin and destination addresses in order to achieve maximum route efficiency, whether it's the fastest time between all points or the shortest distance.  Optimized routes are limited to 25 locations.


Control points

Provide latitude and longitude coordinates along with a weight and a radius and the route will either avoid or intersect the control point, depending upon the values passed in with the request.


Route matrix

The route matrix function will calculate time and distance from one location to a group of other locations or all locations in a group to all of the other locations in the group.  A one-to-all route matrix request can handle up to 100 locations while an all-to-all request can handle up to 25 locations.


Date and time routing

The date and time routing options allow dates and times to be taken into consideration when calculating a route and directions, which is helpful when generating directions that include HOV-specific lanes at certain times of day, timed turn restrictions, and seasonal or specific day of week closures.


Traffic-based routing

Results include time and realTime parameters.  The time value is the time it takes to complete the route given the distance, speed limits, and maneuvers, while the realTime value considers current traffic flow in addition to distance and maneuvers.


Alternate routes

Easily request multiple potential routes between an origin and a destination (note: this feature is not available for multi-point routes).  An 'acceptable time overage' can be specified so that alternate routes that exceed the specified maximum drive time will not be returned.


Drag route

Drag route requests are variants of simple directions requests and allow a route to be recalculated 'on the fly,' by quickly inserting a new location into the list of existing locations.


Estimated fuel usage

Calculate the estimated fuel usage associated with a route by specifying vehicle fuel efficiency and driving style.  Specify your vehicle fuel efficiency by passing in a 'miles per gallon' value with the highwayEfficiency parameter.  The drivingStyle can be set to normal, cautious, or aggressive.


Enterprise licensing

Enterprise Edition licenses include a service-level agreement (SLA), access to technical support engineers in our Denver, Colorado office, 24/7/365 emergency support, an account manager who is dedicated to supporting your account, and most importantly, no limits placed on the number of directions requests that can be made per day.  Contact MapQuest Enterprise Solutions for more information about Enterprise Edition licensing.