Blipstar lets you offer maps easily

logoBlipstar is an easy way to leverage the Google Maps API to offer a map of multiple locations for website visitors from a spreadsheet. It’s a pretty straight up use of the API but it’s notably inexpensive and customizable.

Developed by Worcester, UK GIS lover Paul Clarke, it’s a solid little application and a good example of, as Clarke writes on his blog, the low barrier to entry made possible by APIs.

logoExcel, DBF, TXT and CSV formated files containing location names and addresses can be uploaded through the web interface, the display can be customized and a pop up map inserted with javascript. It’s marketed as a store locator, but organizations wanting to highlight any types of locations could potentially use the service. Up to 25 locations can be mapped and easily edited for $25 for a year, with prices going up from there. The site claims to far undercut competitors on price and since it’s a hosted service it requires zero technical knowledge to set up and maintain. There’s a 30 day free trial with no credit card required so you can go and check it out for yourself.

There’s nice little touches like an option to have the display use different languages (Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian or English) and the service makes use of the newest developments in the Google API. It will be interesting to see how many of these lightweight but well developed API plays can become commercially viable small businesses.