You can now track your Amazon delivery driver in real time

Well, well, well… Look what’s hot and fresh out of Amazon’s kitchen! You know how you have to wait around just twiddling your thumbs the day you are expecting a package to be delivered home? Not anymore! With its latest offering, Amazon is making sure its users catch a break.

Called Amazon Map Tracking, this new feature allows anyone in the United States to track their deliveries on a map in real time. And while the feature doesn’t show you the exact ETA of the package, it does offers super useful information like how many stops the delivery person will be making before they knock on your door. Looks something like this:

The driver’s exact location becomes visible to the user when fewer than 10 stops remain. Like this:

Amazon began rolling out this feature in November 2017, but it’s only now that map tracking for packages has become available across the US. In an interview with Business Insider, Amazon spokeswoman Alana Broadbent said, “The Amazon Map Tracking feature is another delivery innovation we are working on to improve convenience for our customers and provide them greater visibility into their deliveries.”

The reactions from shoppers on the Internet have been super positive. One person wrote on Twitter: Watching the Amazon delivery map for an order is hilarious and addicting. While another said on Reddit: I just saw this for the first time on my order delivered today, when there were 4 stops before mine. I felt kind of silly but was excited to watch the little dot get closer to me 🙂

What’s really interesting is that if you feel you have mistakenly sent the delivery guy to the wrong location, you can even update your address on the fly! Like this guy did:

From the very beginning, the online shopping giant has been clear about its aversion to all things Google. In September 2012, when the Amazon Maps API first came out of beta, Amazon offered a “simple migration path for developers who are already using the native Google Maps API on Android.” While that API didn’t offer anything that Google wasn’t offering, it made one thing very clear – Amazon wanted to distance itself from its rival. But this feature is a really cool innovation from Amazon’s mapping services. Wish they would hurry up and make it available worldwide soon!

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Foursquare makes it easy for startups to access its location database

Seems like startups and small businesses are on the radar of most location tech companies. Close on the heels of Waze launching a dedicated platform that allows local business owners to advertise on the Google-owned navigation app for as little as $2 comes another big announcement for small businesses. This time from Foursquare.

The location intelligence company has released a new product called Places API for Startups. The API would allow small businesses to enable location sharing, venue search, get details of venue (like business hours and tips), and more in their apps. Using this API, startups can integrate into their apps reviews written by Foursquare users, as well as the tips and photos shared by them.

The product acts as the middle ground between Foursquare’s free Places API for non-commercial applications and the one with which it caters to big enterprises like Twitter, Snapchat, Uber, etc. As a key differentiator, the startups API will give developers access to four tips and photos per venue, while the enterprise account allows unlimited access. But the commercial license that comes with the startup tier allows for unlimited apps per account.

In an interview with Street Fight magazine, Foursquare’s VP of global sales strategy and operations, Peter Krasniqi, said, “We’re already helping some of the world’s biggest companies power contextual experiences that otherwise would not be possible without access to our best-in-class location database and understanding of more than 105 million places around the world, and we’re excited to help companies of all sizes and stages do the same.”

Now read: Foursquare says its location data can predict Amazon, Walmart’s next acquisition

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