APIs are sets of protocols that are integrated into applications or platforms to carry out certain processes. You have probably heard about them, because they are part of most of the platforms of small and large companies, in areas as diverse as e-commerce, retail, fintech, pharma, auto insurance, travel assistance, insurance doctors and many more.
Geolocation API Overview
The Google Maps technology used by Uber to connect the nearest driver; applications to order food, such as Rappi and Uber Eats, which allow you to know the estimated delivery time, visualize the delivery person from the moment he leaves the restaurant until he arrives at home; and home delivery companies for online purchase products that allow the user to know where their product is physically, how long it takes to arrive and what the delivery cost is. These are just a few examples of common day-to-day services that work through APIs.
The use of this type of tool has constantly increased. According to the Programmable Web report , in June 2019 there were 22,000 active APIs, with an increasing trend of 2,000 new APIs per year.
Companies achieve great benefits by implementing APIs, since these tools allow to offer new services and improve existing ones, in addition to solving problems only by integrating them into a platform , instead of having to develop a solution from scratch.
What does Geolocation API do?
The main advantage of APIs is that they can be adapted to the needs of your business, providing more complete experiences for consumers and serving to implement an Omnichannel service model.
For all these reasons, it is worth knowing how APIs work and what are the advantages of being able to use them in a company. In this article we will explain how APIs work and how to use geolocation APIs in particular (Google Maps Platform and Maplink Platform).
What is an API and how does it work?
What does API mean? It is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, or in Spanish, Application Programming Interface. It can be defined as an interface that favors communication between two different systems or platforms, allowing various functions to be added to websites and applications.
To understand how an API works, it is necessary to understand that it is not a software that works independently but that it is an extension, but rather that it requires a system, an application or a platform in which to group itself. APIs must be integrated into a system to work.
Following this line, geolocation APIs such as those that are part of Google Maps offer various solutions, in addition to their maps, such as:
- Improve address entry and validation
- Increase delivery efficiency
- Accelerate the customer buying process
- Improve customer experience
How to use an API in practice?
To use an API like in the previous examples, you will most likely need an API key. To find out if the API you want to use requires this type of key, you can consult the documentation for access requirements.
Some examples of APIs that require an API key to access are:
- Google APIs
- Facebook APIs
- Twitter APIs
- Google Maps Platform APIs
To implement one of these APIs, the key must be paid and then integrated into the system. Once you’ve purchased your API key, you can use it to manually interact with the API through online HTTP clients.