Map Kit FAQ | Online Maps FAQ | Online Routing FAQ | Map Input Tracker FAQ

Q: How do I get started with the TomTom Developer Portal?

A: Getting started is easy! Go to developer.tomtom.com and click the "register" button to open an account. Once you are logged in, go to My Account to get an API evaluation key!

Q: What types of APIs does TomTom offer?

TomTom offers the following APIs:

  • Map Kit: This is a collection of calls designed to allow developers to create applications around mapping, routing, and traffic. It includes extra calls such as Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding that are needed to support these functions. These calls can either be coded directly, or via the free Software Development Kits (SDKs) for JavaScript, iOS, or Android.
  • Online Routing: This is a REST-like API interface to TomTom's industry-leading Online Routing API. It can be used with map tiles and search results from TomTom or other providers for a number of routing-based applications.
  • Online Maps: This is a REST-like API that provides map images of the TomTom high quality world map in Navigation Data Standard (NDS) runtime format.
  • Map Input Tracker: This is a RESTful API designed for TomTom end-users and Business customers to submit map feedback on a wide range of features.
  • NDS Map Updates: This is a suite designed for developers to enable effective Updating of the embedded NDS Map in their own navigation application.

Q: What does it cost to get started?

A: Nothing! You can register and open an account, obtain our an evaluation API key, and access documentation, FAQs, and user forums for free. Once you have tested your application and determined it is ready for full-scale production you can contact a sales representative who will assist you with getting production API keys and estimating the cost of using our APIs in production mode.

Q: What functions are included in the Map Kit?

A: TomTom's Map Kit includes the following key functions:

  • Map Display – Our TomTom REST Tile API provides WMS style raster street map images pre-rendered at 18 zoom levels ranging from one global tile down to 40 square kilometer detailed map images. Each image is 256 x 256 pixels and corresponds with a position on an established zoom level grid system used by the WMS-C standard. Map tiles can be layered with routing and traffic tiles from the same interface and using the same grid system to create a compound display. These tiles can be called using either a zoom grid (TMS) or WMS-style calls. The TMS call is also documented in WMTS-compatible format.
    Note that this API is now deprecated for new users. The Online Maps API should be used unless functionality not yet available for it is needed. Owners of applications using the Map Kit API map tile service will be notified when a transition to the Online Maps is required.
  • Traffic – The TomTom Traffic Model REST API and the Tile API combine to provide traffic incident and delay information to enrinch your map view. The Traffic Model API returns detailed information about traffic jams and traffic-related incidents. Details include the type, duration, significance, and distance of the delay. In areas where our real time traffic feed is available, the model is updated every 2 minutes. A traffic model ID is provided which can be used with our Tile API to render unique icons showing incidents such as accidents and road work, as well as highlighting road segments to represent traffic jams and slowdowns. TomTom Traffic is a live service that provides a valuable enrichment for your mapping applications: the very latest traffic information at a glance.
  • Geocoding – TomTom provides API's for both free text forward geocoding and reverse geocoding as part of its support for routing and map display. Free text forward geocoding allows users to enter an unstructured address, place or point of interest and find its location. Reverse geocoding does the reverse: for a given pair of coordinates, the user is given the nearest specified type of location in the map data (for example, an address or town/village).
    Note that the free text geocoding API is now deprecated for new users. The Online Search API should be used unless functionality not yet available for it is needed. Owners of applications using the Map Kit API geocoder will be notified when a transition to the Online Navigation is required.
  • Viewport – This API can be called by client applications when the viewport changes (zooming, panning, going to a location, showing a route). The request should contain the bounding box of the visible area (the viewport). It returns data that is useful in other API calls: map names, software version information, tile versions, the current Traffic Model ID and copyright IDs. The Traffic Model ID is used by other APIs to retrieve traffic information for further processing. The tile version can be used in the Integer Tile API calls.
  • Routing – The TomTom Routing REST API provides point to point routing and route re-calculation using TomTom's established routing algorithms. Route calculation takes into account factors such as intermediate points, established traffic patterns, real-time conditions, and desired day and time to provide the best possible route, either for immediate departure (avoiding current traffic incidents) or for a future day and time (taking account of historic problem areas.) A textual description of the route is returned, localized by language, along with a list of coordinate points for the route and a TomTom RouteKey. The Route Key is used to generate route tiles (the graphic image overlay of the route) via the Tile API.
    Note that this API is now deprecated for new users. The Online Routing API should be used unless functionality not yet available for it is needed. Owners of applications using the Map Kit API routing engine will be notified when a transition to the Online Routing is required.

Take a look at the Map Kit FAQ for more details.

Q: Which map rendering API should I choose, Map Kit or Online Maps?

A: You should use MapKit APIs when you require one or more of the following:

  • multiple different overlays including traffic, flow etc.
  • map rendering that integrates with other APIs available in MapKit.

If you require only map tiles and want to have the most up-to-date map data in highest quality, you should use the Online Maps API call. It offers all the advantages provided by the NDS format:

  • global coverage
  • best data accuracy and freshness due to direct access to the TomTom map production system and short cycles for bringing map updates delivered by our community to the end users
  • compatibility with the other new APIs for navigation purposes.

Note that the MapKit APIs will be discontinued when the Online Maps API reaches feature parity with them. Production users will then be given advance notification and guidance on how to migrate.

Q: Which routing API should I choose, the Routing API from the Map Kit or Online Routing?

A: If you require turn by turn navigation instructions in your response, you should choose the Map Kit Routing API. Note that this call will be discontinued some time after turn by turn instructions are made available for the Online Routing API. Production users will be given advance notification and guidance on how to migrate.
If you do not require turn by turn navigation, you should use the Online Routing API call. It offers additional options such as optimized routing and alternate routes, accepts more waypoints in the request, and contains a number of functional improvements.

Q: Which search API should I choose, the Map Kit Geocoder or Online Search?

A: If you are not already an existing Map Kit user, you should use the Online Search API.

Q: How do I get an API key?

A: Go to developer.tomtom.com and click the "register" button to open an account. Once you are logged in, go to My Account and choose what API evaluation key to request. (Note that keys can take up to 24 hours to be approved.)

Q: How am I notified when changes are made to APIs?

A: Production users are informed of breaking changes via email and given time to respond and react. The documentation for each API also has a "Release Notes" section, if you miss an update.

Q: What Mobile platforms does TomTom support?

A: IOS v5.0, Android API level 8 (v2.2x) and newer.

Q: What SDKs are available through TomTom?

A: JavaScript, IOS and Android SDK's are available for download through our portal. There are also separate FAQs for the mobile platform SDKs.

Q: How do I transition my application from "Prototype" to "Production"?

A: An application can be easily transitioned from "Prototype" to "Production" by replacing evaluation API keys with production API keys. Contact an account manager for assistance with this process.

Q: Can I deploy TomTom functionality to my own servers?

A: No, you cannot at this time deploy TomTom functionality to your own servers. However, your application can use TomTom's functionality through our APIs.

Q: What is the difference between geocoding and reverse geocoding? What is "free text geocoding"?

A: Geocoding is the process of taking in address or location information (such as "10 Downing Street, London" and turning it into a set of geographic coordinates. The input information can either be a single text field that the geocoder has to parse ("free text") or can be broken into pre-labeled fields ("structured").

Reverse geocoding does the reverse: if a set of coordinates are entered, then the nearest address or geographic name is returned.

Q: How frequently are map tiles updated?

A: Tiles are constantly being updated with minor corrections submitted by TomTom users via the MapShare system. The map data used by the APIs is entirely updated approximately once per quarter.

Q: How frequently is traffic information updated?

A: For the Map Kit APIs, Traffic information is refreshed every two minutes. Each refresh of the traffic information has a unique Traffic Model ID, which is used in calls to the traffic tile API, Routing API, and Traffic Model API.

The Online Navigation API does not require a Traffic Model ID. It uses the most recent traffic in every call.

Q: How do I ask a question, report a bug, or request a change to an API?

A: Go to the forum. Look at the other posts to see if your question has already been asked, you may find the answer there already! If not, feel free to make a post. Note that all posts will be reviewed by a moderator before being displayed.