[As a new feature of the Geo Developers Blog, we’ll be featuring one great Google Maps API site a week as part of our new “Map of the Week” series.]

Map of the Week: TheReelBox
Why we like it: A really great way to see a list of movies near you, the trailers, and showtimes. Also, a really nice use of the Google Directions API.

TheReelBox is a project from developer Peter Reinhardt and is a great way to find out what’s playing nearby and how to get there.

After determining your location, on the left hand side of the site, TheReelBox makes a list of the movies playing near you and the times they are showing. TheReelBox also has sourced movie ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and showtimes from Fandango (another great Google Maps API site).

When you choose a movie, TheReelBox displays a trailer from YouTube as well as driving directions to the nearest theater. The showtimes are linked to nearby movie theaters, which is where you are routed to from your ip-determined location. As you scroll through movie times from different theaters, it’s fun to see how quickly driving directions are populated via the Google Directions API.

Since its introduction in 2005, the Google Maps API has evolved into a developer-friendly way for to include maps your website. Many companies use the Google Maps API to include a store locator on their website.
Developers have a variety of useful APIs at their disposal, like Street View, Directions API, Places Autocomplete and HTML5 geolocation. While it may be easy for a developer to code a store locator, they often consist of nothing more than a base map and marker.
With that in mind, I’d like to introduce the Store Locator utility library. This open-source library makes it simple for developers to create interactive, useful store locators. Don’t spend your time re-inventing the wheel – you can spend your time on more exciting things like designing custom markers and styling maps to truly make your store locator your own.

Watch the short video below to get a glimpse of the great functionality offered by the Store Locator utility library.
Get started today by visiting the project homepage. The library is open-sourced under the Apache 2 license.

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Another Friday has rolled around, and we’re happy to announce a new screencast from my team at Google Maps Developer Relations.

In this screencast, Brendan Kenny shows us how to use Chrome Developer Tools to debug a Maps API application. Even some members of our team learned something watching this video.

In other news, members of my team, Maps Developer Relations, are holding office hours in Google+ Hangouts. You can find more information about that at our Google Maps API Google+ Page. Add the page to your circles to find out when the next ones are scheduled.

When we first launched the Google Maps API, it was all about a map, a pin, and a dream. Back then our technical documentation was relatively simple, consisting of a couple of developer docs and some code samples. Since then the Google Maps API has expanded far beyond our expectations, due in large part to the diverse and innovative developer ecosystem that has grown with us.

With the continuing evolution of the Google Maps API, it became clear that we needed more than just code documentation to convey what’s possible with the Google Maps API. Thus, was born.

In addition to having all the same developer content that was previously available on, the site is designed to highlight and illustrate new features of the Google Maps API through fun and interactive demos. Our goal with is to inspire the next wave of innovation on the Google Maps API, and to connect developers and decision makers with the tools and services that can make their products better.

One of the features of the Google Developers site we’re most excited about is the 3rd party developer showcase, which allows us to celebrate a selection of innovative sites in the Google Maps API ecosystem. Showcase content is carefully curated by the Google Maps API team.

In order to help users discover relevant apps and topics in the showcase, we’ve devised a tagging system that allows you to filter examples both by theme, and by Google Maps API features used.

We hope that the showcase and the interactive examples on the new Google Maps API Developers capture your imagination and inspire you with what’s possible using the platform. The imagination of Google Maps API developers has always been what makes the product great and we’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

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O’Reilly’s Where Conference is April 2-4. It’s going to be a great conference, with lots of really interesting talks on mapping and location technologies. And Google is going to have a big presence. We’ll have 5 workshops, 4 sessions, and one keynote by Google Vice President Brian McClendon. This is the biggest effort we’ve ever done. We’ll be talking about a variety of topics, including:

So if you’re headed to Where, come and say hello at our sessions or at our booth in the exhibit hall.

If you haven’t registered for Where yet, you can get 25% off by using this discount code: GOOG25. So register today while there’s still space.


To the Google Maps Developer Relations team, the most exciting feature of Google+ is the opportunities it gives us to connect with Google Maps API developers from around the world. That's why today we're very excited to announce the launch of the Google Maps API Google+ page.

The Google Maps API Page will be used to give helpful tips about using our APIs, announce our office-hours hangouts, and point you to new cool maps that we find. We’ll also use the page to tell you about upcoming events, highlight announcements, link to helpful articles, and a lot more. It’ll also give us a stronger means to connect with our valued developer community. For instance, today we announced the next Google Maps API Office Hours, in which you can connect to the Maps Developer Relations team through Google Plus Hangouts.

Over the past couple of months, the Maps DevRel team has been connecting with Google Maps API developers through our personal accounts. We’ve now created a new circle that you can follow that has all of us in it.

For years, this blog has been the primary way for developers to keep up to date about the goings-on in the Google Maps API world and that isn’t going to change. We see the new Google+ page as adding a new way for you to connect with the Google Maps API team.

So if you want to learn more about the Google Maps API, connect with other map developers, and keep up with the latest news, add us to your circles!


Hi, welcome to Fab Friday, the late edition! Today we have the pleasure of sending you another in our series of screencasts. This week, Josh Livni talks about using the Maps API Utility Library to add Google Earth to your Maps API application, with only 4 lines of code. Check it out:

In other news, Chris Broadfoot and I really enjoyed giving our talk Beautiful Vectors yesterday at Strata 2012. Thanks for the warm welcome and great feedback. If you’re interested, here are our slides, though our demos are not yet ready for release.

In upcoming events, Josh and Chris will be at South by Southwest in the Google Village. And they’ll be speaking Saturday, March 10th. Stop by and say hi if you’re in Austin.