Some of our customers use our API for their special applications and programs to integrate personalized maps and services. But many of our readers may ask what an API actually is and what exactly can be done with it? We have conducted a short interview with locr’s managing director and CTO Holger Urbansky, who sheds some light on the topic. Find out more below:
We say that there are different ways for our customers to work with locr, and one of them is to use the API. What is that?
H.: The API, which means application programming interface, is a programming interface for integrating applications into programs or workflows. The locr interface is used by the locr batch tool, for example.
What can customers do with the API?
H.: With the API it is possible to connect own programs with the locr services. This is used to integrate the locr maps into CeWe Color’s photo book software, for example.
Why would any of our customers want to work with the API rather than just sending us addresses and letting us make maps for them?
H.: The API is only useful if you want to use different maps or geocoding services from locr on a continuous basis, not for a completed project. Projects which are regularly carried out with a manageable number of addresses, can be carried out with the locr batch tool. For larger or more complex projects we recommend personal cooperation with the locr team.
Can you describe any examples of how our customers are already using the API?
H.: The API is used by customers who sell their products directly to end customers. They integrate individual maps into their products, which can then be done with our API. Customers who have already used our API are, for example, the CeWe Color photo book or the travel guides from inzumi.
Is it easy to work with the API?
H.: Not really, the API is not a service for the end customer or just a simple project. To use the interface, you first have to program a connection to your own interface or program!
Do our customers need any specialist programming skills to use our API?
H.: Yes, to be able to use the API, you have to have programming skills in a programming language like PHP, C#, C, C++, Python, NodeJS or others, for example. You should also have knowledge about parallelization.
How do they get started?
H.: If you are interested to use the API, you better contact us first. We can then talk about the different opportunities together and the optimal solution for the customer can be found.
Where do they go to find the technical information about the API?
H.: Technical information can be found on the website http://doku.locr.com/. Here we have compiled a detailed page that provides information about the API, but also lists its technical requirements.
How does the pricing of creating maps automatically with the API compare with the other ways that customers work with us, for example using the BATCH Tool?
H.: As the batch tool is based on the API, the actual billing mechanisms are integrated in the server and are comparable to those of the locr batch tool. We can be more precise if we know the requirements of the customer.