GPS Review: Garmin has announced a new developer API to communicate with their GPS devices. Using an API from Garmin, programmers could write their own software to interact with Garmin devices.
API stands for Application Programming Interface, which allows other people and companies to write programs to interact with their programs and devices.
A good current example of this is Garmin’s own MotionBased site. This site can read data from your GPS about your recent travels and then process that data by providing maps of your travel history, workout information, etc.
The new API will make it possible for everyone else to more readily develop tools to incorporate data from Garmin GPS devices.
For example if you wanted to develop software to process data stored on GPS from your delivery drivers, that should now be easier to accomplish. Or if you wanted to build a website to take information from your GPS about where you’ve driven in the past week while on vacation and geocode that information into time-stamped photos, that might be easier to accomplish now. An early example of this is reportedly to be icons you can click on the Geocaching website to automatically exchange cache information with a Garmin GPS device.
Information about the API will be accessible from a new Garmin Developer Website. This should pan out to be a good move for Garmin, allowing more people to do more interesting things with the data the hardware collects.