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The JavaScript API utility library has been growing fast in the last 3 months, with nearly double the number of libraries now being worked on in the development project. We can always use more libraries or help prepping the current libraries for release (code reviews, documentation, examples) - if you're interested, email the group to introduce yourself and let us know how you'd like to help. In the meantime, check out the most recent releases:


TabbedMaxContent 1.0: This library provides a max info window UI that's similar to the info window UI for local business results on Google Maps, and works in conjunction with the API's maxContent option. This comes courtesy of Nianwei, a developer who's also working on two upcoming libraries for a lightweight keyboard-triggered drag-to-zoom and an ArcGIS connection layer. Check out the examples or reference.
PopUpMarker 1.0: This library displays a "popup" (mini infowindow) to the side of a marker. The popup can either embed HTML, or it can use the Google Charts API to show text and icons in custom color schemes. This comes courtesy of Masashi, a Maps API expert from Japan with a plethora of tutorials and examples (all in Japanese, of course). Check out the examples or reference.
ExtLargeMapControl 1.1: This library creates a control that mimics the functionality and UI of GLargeMapControl3D, the current control on Google Maps, without the Street View integration. Developers can easily re-skin this control to match their own site, and use it in combination with a re-skinned ExtMapTypeControl for a full custom navigational UI. This also comes courtesy of Masashi, with help from Bjorn, author of SnapToRoute and ProgressBarControl. Check out the examples or reference.

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As many of you already know, developers can use the GoogleBar control in the Maps API to allow users to search the map for local businesses, landmarks and points of interest. As part of Google's ongoing commitment to improve user and developer experience, we have some changes coming up for the humble GoogleBar. Most importantly, we are adding advertising targeted to the user's searches. We hope that this, as with all Google advertising, will improve the user experience by providing targeted and relevant sponsored results. You will benefit from this as well, as you can make money from these Google ads provided on Maps API sites (see below).

In addition, there are a number of smaller changes: The JavaScript underlying the GoogleBar has been completely rewritten and the UI has been updated to make it more accessible and easy to use. In its collapsed state, the original GoogleBar control was often missed as a functioning search bar, so we aimed to design a new GoogleBar that was as recognizable as the traditional, elegant Google search field (logo + field + button), while occupying minimal space on the map. You can see the new GoogleBar, together with ads, below:


As you can see, in addition to the ad, there have been several cosmetic improvements. For example, we've removed the magnifying glass so the control is open all the time. As a result, we are deprecating the showOnLoad argument within the GoogleBarOptions object. All other arguments continue to be supported. This is a substantial change to the experience, look and feel of the GoogleBar, so we are giving you the opportunity to try the new version and give us some feedback before it becomes the default setting. Starting today you can try out the new GoogleBar by passing the parameter style='new' as part of GoogleBarOptions, as long as you are using the latest version of the API.

For example:

var opts = {
 googleBarOptions : {
   style : 'new'
 }
}
map = new GMap2(document.getElementById("map"), opts);
map.setCenter(new GLatLng(33.956461,-118.396225), 13);
map.enableGoogleBar();

Full documentation of the GoogleBar's new features is available in the API documentation.

This new version of the GoogleBar will contain advertising, as shown above. If you want to profit from the advertising personally, then all you have to do is get a Google AdSense for Search (AFS) id and pass it into the GoogleBar constructor. If you don't yet have a Google AdSense account, sign up for an account. Once you have done so (or if you already have an account) make sure you've also enabled the account with AdSense for Search. Once you have an AdSense for Search account, you will receive an AFS client ID. Specify this client ID, as shown below, and you will begin receiving advertising revenue for any clicks on sponsored results within your API application.

var opts = {
 googleBarOptions : {
   style : 'new',
   adsOptions : {
     client : ####  // Your Google AdSense for Search (AFS) client id
   }
 }
}
map = new GMap2(document.getElementById("map"), opts);
map.setCenter(new GLatLng(33.956461,-118.396225), 13);
map.enableGoogleBar();

Optionally, you may also specify an AdSense for Search channel if you've set that up. More information on advertising channels is located in the AdSense Help Center. Additionally, you may also specify the Ad Safety Level to associate with your advertising and the language in which to display results. Please consult the Maps API Reference for specifics.

You can give us feedback by going to the Maps API Google Group. A month or so from today we are planning to change the default style of the GoogleBar to be the new and improved version, so stay tuned for further announcements.

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With the recent announcement of Google Code Labs, we wanted to update you on what's happening with the Maps and Earth APIs. We're excited to tell you that none of the Maps APIs (JavaScript, Flash, Static, Mapplets) or the Earth API are in labs. Furthermore, we've taken the opportunity to remove the 'beta' label from the Maps and Earth APIs. The original Maps API has been around for more than three years. Thanks to the hard work of dozens of people, the APIs have been very stable and become mature products that are used by sites and applications of all sizes. Our stability and commitment to supporting the APIs shouldn't be a big surprise for most of you, but now you've got it in writing too. :)

While the overall APIs are not in labs, there is one recent feature that is still experimental: AIR support in the Maps API for Flash. From time to time, as we release new features that are more of an experimental nature, we may let them bake in labs for some time. As with Google Labs and Google Code Labs, we'd like to get early feedback and see how you use these experimental features before making a long term commitment to them.

As always, please continue sending your feedback in the appropriate forum:

We've also set up "notify" groups that you can sign up for if you just want to see the important updates, e.g. new releases. You can sign up from the home page of each API or use the links below: