Map application interface launched

December 3, 2020

The Development Bureau today announced that it officially launched three Map Application Programming Interface (Map API) services that are available to the public free of charge.


They include Topographic Map API, Imagery Map API, as well as Map Label API, which comprise enhancements on the numbers of map requests and zoom levels access.


The bureau noted that since the services were soft launched in October, they have been well received by the public with map requests numbering about 7 million, 3 million and 3 million respectively.


The Map API, one of the four quick-win projects under the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI), is a web mapping service for the public and private sectors to support their web applications that require map displays.


It enables the community to build innovative applications enriched with locational and other features such as virtual city navigation, the bureau explained.


By making use of map data maintained by the Lands Department, the Map API enables the public to access the latest topographic, imagery map and other location information through an interface to request map services in a convenient way instead of acquiring a set of raw map data.


The bureau said this significantly reduces the time and effort required in processing the raw map data as compared with the traditional way.


The Map API services are available on the Public Sector Information Portal and the GeoData Store, which is the alpha version of the CSDI portal.


The Lands Department also announced today that the 3D Pedestrian Network and 3D Visualisation Map datasets are now available to the public for free.


The 3D Pedestrian Network was designed to support navigation services and meet the special needs of people with physical disabilities.


Based on the dataset developed by the University of Hong Kong, the network connects footways for over 2,000 footbridges, 400 subways, and the unpaid areas of all MTR stations.


Footways supporting wheelchair access at over 2,100 public facilities and 1,300 public access lifts are also mapped for the disabled.


The 3D nature of the network will support innovative uses like 3D visualisation of pedestrian routes and navigation with augmented reality or voice guidance.


The Transport Department's HKeMobility mobile app has adopted the network to enrich mobility information.


The 3D Visualisation Map shows topographical and exterior features of terrains, buildings and infrastructures that support visualisation and other geospatial applications.


At present, the dataset covers more than 23,000 hectares of land over 10 districts in Hong Kong. The remaining districts will be released in phases by the end of 2023.


The two spatial datasets in machine-readable formats are now available for previewing and downloading on the GeoData Store and the Public Sector Information Portal.


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