Mapbox Surface API: it’s a remarkable new way to access raw data behind a map. Using Mapbox Vector Tiles, the Surface API can look at elevation profiles to crime indices to home prices — anything, any data that you upload. Now it’s as easy to make a geo API as it is to make a map.
The core of the API is a flexible query interface. Given a point on a mountain, it can compute the elevation at that point by interpolating nearby values. Given a line across the mountain’s ridge, it’ll return multiple elevation values along the path. And with the power of custom data, it can do so much more.
The API comes with the Mapbox elevation dataset, but the real power is being totally customizable: with custom vector tiles from Mapbox Studio, you can make a totally new kind of geographical API. Create datasources for prices, temperatures, precipitation, sound, radiation, walkability – anything that’s geographical – and the Surface API will query and analyze it. Here’s an example from Death Valley, California, where we compare weather and elevation.
The Surface API is available in private beta. If you’re interested in using it visit: https://www.mapbox.com/blog/introducing-the-surface-api/