Posted:

You may recall that in October of last year we updated the map data for the United States and added a "Report a Problem" link to maps that allows users and developers to notify us of corrections that are needed. Today we are happy to extend these updates and the "Report a Problem" link to Google Maps in Canada.

These map updates offer improvements to geocoding of postal codes and street addresses, new building outlines, more detailed geographical features such as water bodies, and improved labelling of features such as Universities and Highway exits.

Maps API applications will benefit from this update automatically. Consequently if you have cached any addresses or latlngs for Canada obtained using the Geocoder Web Service before these updates we ask that you refresh this data by re-geocoding as soon as possible, and that you continue to refresh regularly to benefit from the corrections generated by the "Report a Problem" feature.

If you have any questions or concerns about how this update could affect your Maps API application, please post to the relevant Google Group:

We're excited to be offering these updates, and to provide an easy mechanism by which developers and users can now participate in improving our maps of Canada.


Posted:

Are you a geo developer with an interest in creating the next wave of transit tools and mashups for mobile devices and the web? If so, we’d love to see you at the first ever "Unconference for Developers" put on by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and hosted at our very own Google New York office. The event takes place May 5, 2010, from 6:30 to 10 PM. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited.

To join us for dinner, technical breakout sessions and a special announcement from the MTA, register at: http://www.mta.info/developers/conf.html no later than 12:01 AM on Friday, April 30th. Reservation confirmations, including program details, will be emailed on April 30th.

Anil Dash, entrepreneur and Director of Expert Labs, will moderate a panel discussion about the current landscape and future of open transportation data and development in the New York region. Panel speakers will include:

To reach the event, take the ACE or the L to the 8th Ave - 14th St A-C-E station, then enter the building at the corner of 16th Street and 9th Avenue. New MTA data sets will be released and representatives from all MTA agencies will be on hand to answer your questions.

Google is thrilled to be a part of this event and to support the MTA’s vision. From the early days of Google Maps development there has been huge interest in creating useful transit maps and tools. We’re excited to see what great ideas and implementations come from an event like this.

Follow or tweet about your interest in the MTA Unconference by using #MTADev on Twitter and discuss the event in the MTA Developer Google Group.

Hope to see you on May 5th!

Posted:

I'm Gary Little, a realtor in the small town of Sechelt, British Columbia, located about 40 minutes by ferry from Vancouver. Before returning to Canada a few years ago, I worked for many years in Silicon Valley at Apple Inc. and Sun Microsystems, Inc.

I'm known around here as "Map Guy", not only for my numerous interactive maps but also my collection of antique paper maps of the west coast of North America. I've even got a car with MAP GUY plates!

My most prolific mapping project to date has been an interactive map application that shows the locations of all MLS-listed properties for sale on the Sunshine Coast (an area about 50 miles long with Sechelt at the center). You can see the application at map.garylittle.ca. I recently rewrote and simplified this application so that it works well on iPhone and Android phones. This meant migrating to theV3 Maps API. One problem I faced was that there was no easy way to create and display a custom info window when a property's marker was clicked.

To solve this problem I created a class called InfoBox. You use it just as you would a google.maps.InfoWindow but it supports several additional properties for controlling the styling of the box. You can also use an InfoBox as a map label, so it's useful for identifying landmarks that are not on the base map. InfoBox is now part of the google-maps-utility-library-v3.

The image below shows an InfoBox from my V3 real estate map at imap.garylittle.ca. It's a simple yellow box with a small arrow pointing to the property's location. A flashier box could easily be displayed through creative use of CSS styles.

To learn more about InfoBox, read the class reference and check out the examples.