Just in time for your holiday coding enjoyment, we have three new articles to get you started on adding maps to mobile and using App Engine for spatial search.
Overview of Mobile Development Options for the Google Maps API
Putting a map on a phone seems natural these days. This article goes over the options for developing a Google Map for a mobile application.
Loading a Maps API site in a Native Android Application
Google Maps API Version 3 was designed to be used in a mobile environment. If you want to include a V3 page in a native Android application, this is how to get started.
Geospatial Queries with Google App Engine using GeoModel
Many developers are moving their applications to cloud computing. Here's how to get started with geospatial queries building on Google App Engine.
So enjoy your holidays, and I look forward to seeing your apps in January!
Using the new search features, you can easily request "all colleges within 5km of San Francisco" and apply attribute filters like "[Type:public]". You can also sort the results by proximity to a point (in this case, the center of the map). The results are updated whenever the map is dragged or zoomed, or when the search criteria change.
In addition to search, many developers have requested the ability to enable API access to a public map without requiring users to be signed into a Google account. We've also enabled this today: you can indicate (using the API) that you would like a map to be accessible by others via the API. You can also programmatically control access to the maps you own, by making them public/private or adding specific collaborators. Our official docs will be updated soon but, in the meantime, check our forum for updates about this.
To get started writing your next awesome geo app, you can download and modify our sample code, or refer to our documentation. We look forward to seeing all the great collaborative mashups, store locators, and mobile apps you'll come up with.
If you have questions or feedback, or would like to tell us about your new creation, please visit our developer forum, tweet about #mapsdata, or file a feature request. We have some other great features on the way, so stay tuned and keep mapping!
If you're attending, be sure to check out the Virtual Globes sessions, which are in their fourth year. They're a great line-up of oral and poster sessions that illustrate interesting and innovative uses of Google Earth, KML, and other modern mapping tools in the geosciences. The "oral sessions" (i.e. talks) are on Tuesday, while the posters are on Wednesday and Thursday. As was the case in prior years, Virtual Globes "posters" are really large plasma screens running cool science and GIS demos :).
If you're not attending this year, you can still catch some of the talks online. One of the oral sessions is being webcast live! The fun starts at 10:20am Pacific time today (18:20 GMT). We also videotaped a few of the speakers delivering their talks outside of the conference, and will be posting those soon.
Last but certainly not least -- we have a Liquid Galaxy on hand in Google's exhibitor booth at the conference. Come check it out, at booth #839. It's quite an experience.
Posted by Michael Weiss-Malik, KML Product Manager and AGU Virtual Globes co-convener
A few weeks ago, Twitter launched the Geotagging API -- we really
wanted to enable users to not only talk about "What's happening?" but
also "What's happening right here?" For a while now, we've been
watching as users have been trying to geo-tag their tweets through a
variety of methods, all of which involve a link to a map service
embedded in their Tweet. As a platform, we've tried to make it easier
for our users by making location be omnipresent through our platform,
and an inherent (but optional) part of a tweet. We're making the
platform be not just about time, but also about place.
I'm really excited to talk about this and other things next Tuesday,
December 15th at the Google Geo Hackathon. I hope to cover our
Geotagging and our Trends API, show off some of our other upcoming
location based capabilities, and showcase some applications that are
currently using them. Most of all, I'm looking forward to meeting
developers from the Google Geo API community and learning how folks
are mashing them up with the Twitter API.
Hope to see you all at the Googleplex! RSVP here. Space limited.
Raffi Krikorian, Twitter Platform Team
Back when I was still an intern at Google, I went on a road trip
around California with a couple of friends while armed with nothing
but a car, a cheap GPS and pure naiveté. Upon arriving at San Diego,
we parked in the middle of the city, wandered around, then somehow scored a lift
to the harbour in a police car without needing to be arrested first.
However, we promptly became lost when walking back to our car because
we couldn't remember which street we'd parked on, and landmarks didn't seem to match up on our GPS. By the time we found the car, the parking meter had expired and we'd received a $50 fine, which you could say was the cost of our 'taxi'.
As I know only too well, reading maps can be tricky when buildings
around you look completely different on the map or aren't there at
all. Today with the launch of new aerial imagery in the Maps v2 API,
the directionally challenged now have a little more help. The imagery
is available with or without road overlays on top, and in each of the
major compass directions (North, South, East and West), so you can now
view the map upside down instead of doing handstands.
Below is a comparison of the existing satellite imagery with the new
aerial imagery over the San Diego Pier Cafe, where we ate lunch on that day. Notice how buildings are more recognizable when viewed at an angle as compared to a top-down view:
The aerial and satellite imagery are linked to each other, and the hybrid aerial and hybrid satellite imagery are linked to each other as well. This means that a single
call to GMap2.enableRotation() will tell your map to
automatically switch from satellite imagery to rotatable aerial
imagery wherever it is available. The GLargeMapControl3D will also display a compass ring that users can rotate to see the imagery from different directions, like in the screenshot below:
You can learn more about the API and the map type collections by
taking a looking at the concepts,
You can also take a look at how Orbitz, Redfin and Trulia have integrated this new imagery by checking out our Google LatLong blog post.
We currently have imagery over San Jose and San Diego, California and will be adding more locations in the coming months. This will help users of
our API to see what entire neighbourhoods look like at a quick glance,
quickly pick out specific landmarks or simply find their way around.
As for me, the next time I go to San Diego I'll be armed with a car, a
data plan and a little less naiveté.
Give us feedback in our Product Forums.