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AOL’s MapQuest announced a new OpenAPI and a contest to create the best mashup using it:

As part of the OpenAPI launch, MapQuest also announced a Developers Challenge, in which Web developers can compete to build the most creative mashup that leverages the mapping and routing functionality of OpenAPI. The contest begins March 7 and runs through the end of March with the winner being announced in mid April. The winning contestant will receive a $1,000 cash prize, and a trip to the Where 2.0 Conference in San Jose, Calif., from June 13-14. For more information on the contest, including Official Rules and how to enter, go to mapquest.com/openapi.

MapQuest informs me that it’s the first to bring routing and directions to an API. The company also says it has the most reliable geocoding in the market and the integration of that geocoding into the API will make a difference to mashup developers.

Here’s a hypothetical real-world example: Soccer moms/dads creating maps with routing to the next game location in a different town. Here’s a concrete example with Eventful data and MapQuest’s interface/API.
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Related: Per Search Engine Journal, CNet reports on new Yahoo! mashup tools for developers. Some are map-based, some are not.

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