What is the Onboard Area API?


People commonly define themselves by the places in which they live and work, ranging from a region, state or local neighborhood. The Onboard Area API returns boundary data for many levels of geography, including counties, places, neighborhoods and more. You can use these boundaries to give your users more context and to aggregate data to visualize on a map. API stands for Application Programming Interface.    Basically, it’s a way for developers to receive information.  More specifically, an API receives requests and sends responses from a remote server.   Our Area API pulls boundary data from Maponics and has over 40,000 neighborhood boundaries nationwide.  In addition, there is boundary data on residential, metro, subdivisions and more through a single API.  We also have the standard county, state, and zip code boundaries.  If you want the end users of your solution to be able to sort in a specific self-defined area, this API is an invaluable resource and works with all of our other datasets including Community, Points of Interest and Property.

Data Sources

Our Area API includes boundary data from Maponics, the United States Postal Service (USPS) as well as selected geographic areas from the Census Bureau’s MAF/TIGER database.

  • Neighborhood Boundaries, updated Quarterly: 40,878
  • Residential Boundaries, updated Quarterly: 446,843
  • Metro Boundaries, updated Quarterly: 502
  • State + District of Columbia, updated Annually: 50
  • County, updated Annually: 3,233
  • Core based Statistical Area, updated Annually: 929
  • PL Census Place, updated Annually: 29,829
  • CS County Subdivision, updated Annually: 36,387
  • ZI Zip Code, updated Annually: 33,144
  • Postal Zip Code, updated Annually: 32,147
To see our interactive documentation in action, sign up for an API key at our Developer Platform.
The Main Endpoint of the Area API is: https://search.onboard-apis.com/areaapi/v2.0.0/Resource/Package?{parameters}
Here is an example: https://search.onboard-apis.com/areaapi/v2.0.0/Boundary/Detail?areaid=12345

When interacting with Onboard primary data, this API has three potential hierarchies.  The first is Area Hierarchy.

Area Hierarchy

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries

Maponics delineates the geographies that matter most to customers in the areas where people live, work, and socialize. Whether you need a simple lookup of neighborhood names or want a more meaningful way to organize and present map data, this dataset is considered the industry standard by web and mobile organizations across the globe.

Maponics Residential Boundaries

Maponics Residential, provides data about the residential areas in and around metros. These boundaries delineate neighborhoods with houses, condos, and apartment complexes, and exclude those with commercial, industrial, or public spaces.

Maponics Metro Boundaries

Metros are densely populated locations are comprised of cities, towns and rural areas that are socio-economically linked to urban centers. They include urban areas in which population concentration is greater than 50,000 and population density is greater than 1,000 people per square mile.

See the map below for a visualization of Maponics Boundaries. Learn more about Maponics boundaries here.

area hierarchy

Census Hierarchy

Incorporated Places

Places always are within a single state or equivalent entity, but may extend across county and county subdivision boundaries. An incorporated place usually is a city, town, village, or borough, but can have other legal descriptions.

County Subdivisions

County Subdivisions are the primary divisions of counties and equivalent entities. They include census county divisions, census subareas, minor civil divisions, and unorganized territories and can be classified as either legal or statistical. *NOTE: Onboard has chosen to use either Census Place OR County Subdivision boundaries in certain areas where the geography type best fits the local understanding and designation of geographies.

See the map below for a visualization of Places and County Subdivisions within a county.

census hierarchy

The final option is Lookups.  You can use Lookups to understand the relationships between two specific types of areas. For example, counties within a state.

The Area API can help you answer important questions like:

  • What neighborhood, zip code or place does this point or address fall within?
  • What is the boundary for a given GEO ID?
  • Tell me all the counties within this state.
  • Tell me all the CBSAs within this state.

If you are interested in finding our more about our APIs, fill out the form below.