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a plug for Map24

Nat at O’Reilly Radar mentions that Multimap have added a public API . It’s great to see more sites adding public APIs, but sadly, as I note in a comment there, Multimap isn’t any use for me — they, along with Google and Yahoo!, have really crappy Irish mapping. Their geocoders (the part that turns an english-language address into a GIS coordinate pair) are pretty much non-functional for Ireland.

I moved from the US to Ireland earlier this year and found this pretty frustrating, after the joys of using the US mapping sites to get driving directions etc.

Thankfully, another contender has emerged recently — Map24.

They have a great geocoder for Ireland, and very reliable directions, which are even accurate for some of the more baroque one-way-system traffic-management changes that Dublin’s city planning department have come up with recently. The look and feel of the website is a little clunky in Firefox — not as smooth as Google’s — but it has some nice AJAXy touches now and seems to be heading in the right direction.

Interestingly, they now offer a public API for third-party mashups, and even offer an API for their geocoder — so someone preferring the Google look and feel could mash that up, using Map24 to find the coordinates and Google to display an area map! (Actually, I think that may be how John Handelaar’s earlier hack worked — I note in the comments that he mentions Map24 provide Lycos’ mapping backend. aha.)

Anyway — Map24 — if you’re looking for a good Irish mapping/driving-directions site, it’ll do the trick.

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