Radar Maps launches new all-in-one location platform Geographic Week News

Radar Maps launches new all-in-one location platform  Geographic Week News

After focusing heavily on geolocation capabilities since its founding in 2016, Radar is looking to provide a complete location platform with the new Radar Maps platform.

Radar, a provider of location services platforms, this week announced the large-scale launch of its new radar mapping platform. Their new release includes “vector base maps along with a full suite of enterprise-ready geocoding, search, and routing APIs,” according to the company's blog announcement of the news. Combined with their existing Geofencing system, which was previously their flagship offering, Radar now believes they can offer the first complete location platform to support georeferencing alongside mapping.

Ahead of Tuesday's announcement, Geo Week News had the opportunity to speak with Nick Patrick, co-founder and CEO of Radar. The discussion touched on the company's new mapping platform, of course, as well as looking to the future of location technology in general. Overall, the conversation made clear where Patrick sees Radar's place in the ecosystem with this latest release. “We've always talked about radar as an integrated location platform. I see maps as the last part of it being truly integrated.

In talking with Patrick about how Radar came to be, it becomes clear very early on how important a role the idea for the site played in his career and the lives of the other founders. In fact, their conference rooms at their New York headquarters are named after American cities, and the room Patrick is calling from, Baltimore, includes a map of the city from OpenStreetMaps. The connection goes even further, as the co-founders met at FourSquare, a location-based social app, which is where they “kind of fell in love with the site,” according to Patrick. The group broke up from there before getting back together in 2016 to develop and officially launch Radar.

As noted above, creating a mapping platform wasn't necessarily top of mind when they first started the company. Instead, location tracking and geofencing was what he focused on. “We came together and started the company in 2016, and really set out to create a complete developer-friendly location tracking and geofencing platform. “That's how we started, and we're really known in the industry as a leading geofencing platform.” Their georeferencing technology has helped them build a client list They include names like Dick's Sporting Goods, T-Mobile, Zillow, and Panera.

Developing a mapping platform was a simple process, and it didn't always feel like it was at hand. Patrick said their customers who used their geofencing platform were increasingly asking for mapping capabilities, and radar requests to power store locators led to things like geocoding and address auto-completion APIs, both of which are part of the mapping platform.

Image via Radar

However, it was not always clear that the maps would be a display at all. “There was a point in time where we said, We are not a mapping company. We will never release the maps. I think two things have really changed. An increasing number of customers have been asking us for this, especially in a year like 2023 when people are looking to cut costs. The other thing that's changed is that there's a real explosion in open mapping data and tools. He goes on to name initiatives like OpenStreetMaps and the Overture Maps Foundation, along with MapLibre, which is sponsored by Radar, as examples of this trend.

In terms of what the platform offers, it is a similar set of developer tools as you will see from other similar products – Patrick likened the platform to “Stripe or Twilio for website” – with the aforementioned APIs as well as routing APIs and a mapping tool that offers configurations With any MapLibre MapOptions. When asked, then, what separates Radar's new mapping platform from competitors, Patrick points to two factors: “price, and the fact that we also have a geofencing platform.”

Considering the price, it's a fairly straightforward explanation that makes sense in the context of today's economy. Patrick notes that he's been hearing more “from the market” about the rising cost of Google Maps. Given the number of companies across industries – especially those that have traditional retail as part of their business model – looking for ways to cut costs, this is an important point. Pricing for Radar's mapping platform starts at $0.50 per 1,000 map uploads and $0.50 per 1,000 API requests, compared to $7 and $5 respectively for Google Maps and $2.50 and $0.75 respectively. For Mapbox.

There's also the fact that the radar can provide a full range of locations with its own geolocation options as well, which is something competitors can't say. Patrick gives some examples of how they're working with some of their customers, pointing to things like turning on Dick's Sporting Goods store mode on their mobile app, and enhancing walk-in discovery for curbside pickup and delivery for restaurant customers.

“These are things that Radar can do that Google Maps or Mapbox can't really do, and we make it really easy to use them all together since they're part of one platform,” Patrick said. “We talked about Radar recently as the end-to-end location platform, and it's really the only location platform that can power use cases across the customer journey all the way from store locators, address auto-completion, store modes, to pick-up arrival detection and delivery tracking.”

While this, in some ways, complements the goal of the full site platform, Patrick realizes that the site's importance will grow. With announcements like Apple's VisionPro headset and the general movement toward augmented and virtual reality experiences, location will be crucial. You don't even need to look far to see this importance either.

“We talk a lot about the Amazon effect, or the Uber effect, where you're ordering an Uber and we see the car coming to us, or we're used to ordering a package from Amazon, and it shows up on our doorstep the next day, and we can see exactly where it is in transit. I think people They expect those experiences. If you're a retailer or a restaurant brand, if you want people to download your app and keep coming back, you need to deliver a really great and differentiated experience, and I think site is a really important tool to do that.”

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