Travel APIs

Traffic APIs: 5 Powerful Options to Supercharge Your Application

Traffic data is crucial for any web and mobile application that deals with getting people from A to B—whether you are helping a delivery driver get to their destination, informing a customer about the chances their order will be delayed or helping a parent plan a pick-up route for a group of children. Adding a layer of traffic data can make the difference between frustrated and happy users.

There are several established providers of traffic data, each with unique features such as travel time prediction, route optimization, information about traffic incidents, and visualization of traffic data. In this article, we review 5 leading providers and briefly explain their offering, to help you decide which solution to evaluate in-depth in your project.

Learn more in our guide: 8 Types of Travel APIs

1. MapQuest API

What is MapQuest?MapQuest business is a geospatial toolkit that allows you to embed maps in web applications, track assets like trucks and packages, and convert addresses to map coordinates.
API FocusThe MapQuest Traffic API lets you retrieve and display traffic flow and incidents for a map area, including construction zones, and perform route optimization for drivers.
Main Features
  • Traffic Layers Overlay
  • Traffic Incidents by Type
  • Traffic information for a region
Getting StartedMapQuest Developer Network

2. INRIX Traffic API

What is INRIX?INRIX powers traffic and route information for leading car manufacturers and a large number of distributed traffic systems in North America.
API FocusRobust, quality data, including real-time and historical data from over 300 sources, captured at 100-meter granularity, with advanced algorithms to fuse data and predict traffic conditions in 47 countries.
Main Features
  • Safety alerts for traffic incidents
  • Road weather
  • Dangerous slowdowns
  • Traffic fusion engine
  • Traffic map agnostic
  • Flexible data delivery options
Getting StartedINRIX Documentation

3. Waze API

What is Waze?Waze is a popular mobile app enabling GPS-based navigation with crowdsourced traffic information. It is available in 40 languages. Waze was acquired by Google in 2013.
API FocusMakes it possible for web and mobile apps to embed Waze functionality as part of their user interfaces. Also allows partners to consume Waze traffic data directly—but with the limitation that partners may not use the data to create their own navigation, route planning, or fleet management tool.
Main Features
  • Waze Deep Links—provide a direct link to an address, or automatically start navigation, from a web page, web or mobile app.
  • Waze Transport SDK—get ETA, routing points with real-time traffic data, fastest routes, and travel times using Waze’s crowdsourced traffic engine.
  • Waze iFrame—embed a live Waze map in a web or mobile app
  • Waze Data Feeds—allows Waze partners, such as governments and municipalities, to feed data into the Waze database, such as road closures, accidents, and work vehicles.
Getting StartedWaze @ Google Developers

4. Google Maps API Traffic Layer

What is Google Maps?Google Maps is a mapping service developed by Google, which offers global street maps, satellite images, and panoramic views of streets around the world. It also provides route and traffic information for traveling by foot, car, bicycle, or public transport.
API FocusThe Google Maps Javascript API allows you to display maps in a web or mobile app while customizing maps with your own content and imagery.
Main Features
  • Four basic map types—roadmap, satellite, hybrid, and terrain
  • Modify maps using layers, styles, controls, events, and a variety of services and libraries
  • Traffic data for private vehicles, which can be overlayed on the map
  • Transit data for public transport
  • Bicycle routing information
Getting Startedaps Javascript API—Traffic Layers

5. HERE Traffic API

What is Here Real-Time Traffic?HERE Real-Time Traffic attempts to provide a live depiction of road conditions. It identifies where, when and why traffic congestion occurs, and informs drivers about incidents that could cause delays or require route changes.
API FocusReal-time traffic data aggregated from a mix of sources including high-quality vehicle sensor data. Best-in-class accuracy in depiction of real-world traffic conditions.
Main Features
  • Traffic Incident Data—provided in XML or JSON, including type of incident, status, start and end times
  • Traffic Map Tile Overlays—pre-rendered map overlays you can display in mapping applications
  • Traffic Flow Data—provided in XML or JSON, including jspeed, congestion, and geometry of road segments
  • Traffic Flow Availability—traffic flow information for a specific road segment (if available) or for the entire world (without map view)
Getting StartedHere Traffic API Documentation

We reviewed 6 powerful options for traffic APIs—the MapQuest API, the INRIX API, the API for the popular Waze mobile app, the Google Maps JavaScript API traffic layer, and the Here Traffic API. Hoping this will give you a great start in integrating traffic data into your application!