Last Fall we released the lost archives of the Google Geo Developers Series. Today, we are proud to announce two new videos by stars of the Google Maps API world.
First up, we have John Coryat. In 2007, John gave us Creating Custom Maps, one of our more popular videos in the Google Geo Developers Series. Today, we’re proud to present his latest, Simulating Markers with Tile Layers. A follow-up to Creating Custom Maps, this video presents advanced techniques in creating clickable tile layers. The techniques he describes are actually similar to those used by Google, for instance for rendering KML or Fusion Table Layers. This video talks about how to roll your own.
In our second video we have Chad Killingsworth. Chad presented with me at Google I/O last year in our session Map once, map anywhere, and is an official commiter to the Google Closure project. Fittingly enough, his video is on Using the Google Maps API with the Google Closure Compiler.
So enjoy these videos by these luminaries of the Google Maps API world.
I’m a window seat person. If given the choice on a plane, I will always take the window seat, and not just so other passengers need not climb over me while I sleep. It’s also because I love the views during take off and landing. Whether it’s flying out over Sydney Harbour, or coming in to land over the Houses of Parliament in London, the view from a plane is a unique perspective on the world below.
Starting today you can bring that perspective to your Maps API applications with the launch of 45° imagery in select cities around the world. 45° imagery offers a superior perspective of city skylines than an overhead view. Tall buildings stand out from those around them, and iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Square in Venice are instantly recognisable. In addition you can rotate the map to look at buildings from all four sides:
You can track the cities where 45° imagery is currently available on this map. When 45° imagery is available a submenu option is added to the Maps API Satellite button. Right now the overhead imagery remains the default view for these areas. However in three weeks time this will change to match Google Maps, and the 45° imagery will become the default Satellite view where available. If you do not wish the behaviour of your Maps API application to change in this way, update your application now to add the following to your MapOptions object:
In addition to 45° imagery we are also bringing the Overview Map Control to v3. This is a small interactive thumbnail map that shows an overview of the area around your map location and is attached to the bottom right of your map. The Overview Map Control can be minimized, which collapses it down to a small expand icon. To add the Overview Map Control to your map today in it’s opened state, add the following to your MapOptions:
In three weeks the Overview Map Control will be added by default to all Maps in its minimized state. If you do not wish the control to be added to your map at this time, add the following to your Map Options today:
We hope the addition of the Overview Map Control and 45° imagery to the API helps your users navigate around the world and see it from a new perspective. We’re continuously adding more 45° imagery, so keep an eye on the coverage map to see when it’s added for your city!
Posted by Thor Mitchell, Product Manager, Google Maps API
As public WiFi becomes increasingly ubiquitous, we spend more and more of our time on shared networks. This can expose our personal data to third parties if the sites we access are not secure. Many sites use Google services to store and manage Google data. In response to this, Google is today announcing improved support for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) across many APIs, and recommending that any application that manages user data switch to using SSL.
We want to ensure that applications using the Google Maps API are free to follow this recommendation. As such we are happy to offer free access to the Maps API v3, Static Maps API, and Maps API Web Services over HTTPS to all developers from today. To load the Maps API v3 over HTTPS, the API must be loaded from the hostname maps-api-ssl.google.com. For the Static Maps API and Web Services, please use maps.googleapis.com.
In addition to offering access over HTTPS, all of the Maps APIs (with the continuing exception of the Places API) will continue to be accessible over HTTP, and we recommend that sites that are using the API purely to display public data, such as store locations, continue to use HTTP for optimal performance.
Please also note that although SSL access is now available to all developers, the terms of the Maps API have not changed. If your site uses SSL because you charge for access to your application, or because your application is not publicly accessible to all users, you must still purchase a Maps API Premier license. For more information on Maps API Premier, please contact the Maps API Premier Sales team.
We hope this change assists in making your users feel safe and secure using your applications. If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please post to the Maps API v3, Static Maps API, or Web Services forum as appropriate for the service you are using.
When looking at a Google Map it’s not always easy to get a sense for what the area looks like on the ground. Satellite imagery can indicate the terrain, whether it is urban or rural, desert or mountainous, and Street View can help in built up areas. But to convey the beauty of more scenic locations you really need a photograph.
For this reason we’re happy to make available the Photos layer from Google Maps to Maps API developers. The Photos layer adds thumbnails of geotagged photos to the map, which are sourced from Panoramio. They are a great way to add additional context to a map, and an on the ground perspective. Photos can be added to an API map using the PanoramioLayer class of the new Panoramio library. We have also added some additional flexibility to enable you to customize both the behaviour of the layer and the thumbnails shown by your application.
Firstly, applications can listen for clicks on the photo thumbnails and obtain information about the thumbnail concerned, which can then be used to load the photo using the Panoramio Widget API. Secondly, applications can also restrict the thumbnails shown to those of a particular user, or those with a particular tag. This allows you to only show thumbnails for photos that you have uploaded to Panoramio, or only show photos relating to a specific subject, such as beaches. You can try experimenting with different tags in the example below:
For more information on using the PanoramioLayer, please take a look at the Maps API documentation. As always, if you have any questions about using this or any other Maps API feature, we recommend the Maps API forum. We hope this new layer will help to brighten up your maps, and help your users get a better sense of the landscape you are mapping.
Posted by James McGill, Software Engineer, Google Maps API team
KML and Earth had a really great year in 2010. Toward the end of the year, we added a bunch of new stuff, and wanted to recap it to let you know what we’ve been up to.
Google Earth 6.0 was launched on Nov 29th, and with it came a whole host of new features. Trees, a new Street View mode in Earth, new measuring tools. But along with the product features, it came with some new KML extensions as well:
Of course you can also check out the KML reference, check for things marked New!, and the Earth API release notes for more info.
The integration between Google Fusion
Tables and Google
Maps API Premier makes it extremely easy to visualize thousands of
locations on a map. Fusion Tables is a powerful, cloud-based database
with geospatial smarts; you can attach a location to any record and
then execute geospatial queries to find the relevant records.
Organizations that need to map sensitive or private data will
appreciate our new Protected
Map Layer. For Maps API Premier customers, simply pop in your client
ID into Fusion Tables and voila, you can visualize your data in
your Maps API Premier implementation (and ONLY your implementation)
and your underlying data tables are kept entirely private.
The marriage of Maps API Premier and Fusion Tables enables a true
cloud-based location platform: no servers to stand up, no database
applications to install - just upload your data and display it on a
map. Dead simple and keeps your data safe - just as it should.
Posted by Daniel Chu, Enterprise Geo Product Manager
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