Directions API

Calculate point-to-point, multipoint, and optimized routes

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Directions API


The 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, route matrix functionalities, and the ability to avoid specific links are also available through the API. Requests can be submitted as Key-Value pairs, JSON, and XML.


Provide an origin and a destination address (or latitude and longitude coordinates) and receive a 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 addresses 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-influenced 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 driving style can be set to normal, cautious, or aggressive.

Directions API Resources

API Documentation
Instructions, code samples, and demos all combined into easy-to-follow, easy-to-use documentation.
Directions API Forum
Connect and collaborate with developers who are using the Directions API.

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