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Author PhotoIt’s Friday again. Getting ready for the weekend? I know I am. I’m thinking about what mapping project to do over the weekend.

If you’re in the same situation, this video might be helpful. On Wednesday I did another Google Maps Garage. In this one, I walked through some common errors that crop up in Google Maps Apps when loading in JSON objects. I also give out a tip on using Google Earth to gather latitude and longitude for your app.



Regular Fab Friday readers know I am a fan of video game maps. Well, I am also a fan of fantasy maps. And I recently stumbled on this map of the novel Legends of Nuvia: The Soul of Kaesh by Owen Borseth which uses the Google Maps API to show a map of the world of Nuvia.




I like it as a simple example of using a Custom Map Type. In this case, it uses an Image Map Type, and uses tiles created for that purpose.

Posted by Mano Marks, Google Maps Developer Relations team

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Map of the Week: Instant Google Street View
Why we like it: Instant Google Street View starts clean, with a simple search box.


As Google, we find this approach very appealing.

As you type, it rapidly updates the page with images from Google Street View...

...until you get where you want to see.


Instant Street View uses the Google Places Library Autocomplete Service to quickly get the location you’re looking for. It uses the Street View Service to display the Street View panoramas. And when you’ve found what you want to look at, you share it via your favorite social media or get a quick map view:




Most of all, we love that it’s fast. So get out there and share some great images from Instant Street View.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations

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Author PhotoYesterday was Thanksgiving in the US. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the wonderful time with my friends and family. And I am thankful that I get to work with the best group of developers in the world every day. That’s you, Google Maps developer. I truly enjoy working with you. Thank you for giving me the best job in the world.

And to give back a little, I have a video for you! It might be really helpful if you, like many developers, are going to relax and try something new or revive an old project over the weekend.


On Tuesday, Brendan Kenny and I did the first in a series of episodes on Google Developers Live called Google Maps Garage. At the Garage, we get into the nuts and bolts of creating Google Maps applications. In Tuesday’s episode, we focused on common mistakes and road bumps that people run into when making Maps applications, including things like common CSS errors, not setting the sensor parameter in the bootstrap call, and more. Take a look.



Next week, I’m doing it again! There’ll be another Google Maps Garage event next week on Wednesday at 14:00 Pacific. I’ll be diving into some more practical implementation details on using the Google Maps API.

Have a great weekend, and to the US developers out there, Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Mano Marks, Google Maps Developer Relations Team

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Map of the Week: #morethanamap Developer Stories Recap

Last month we launched morethanamap.com to showcase the unique features of the Google Maps API. As part of this project, each week we’ve been featuring stories from our global community of developers who are using the Google Maps API to start businesses, help improve their communities or save the environment. We embarked on this journey with a simple thesis: that you could go anywhere any world and find innovative Google Maps API developers doing great things. Last week we ended our journey around the world in São Paulo and we would like to thank all of the developers who were kind enough to share their story with us. That’s why this week, we’re dedicating our “Map of the Week” to the six companies around the world who made this project great.

Moving forward
Now that you’ve had a chance to see how the Google Maps API is being used around the world, we hope that you’ve been inspired to create a Google Maps API powered project of your own. Morethanamap.com is a great place to start to see product demos, but we also have some other great resoruces for developers. Be sure to check our technical documentation at developers.google.com/maps as well as our 3rd party developer showcase at developers.google.com/showcase. You can also engage with the Google Maps API directly on Google+ and StackOverflow.

We’ve also created a short video about what makes morethanamap.com great. In the video below, Luke Mahe, Chris Broadfoot, and Paul Saxman from the Google Maps API Developer Relations team walk us through the technology behind the demos on morethanamap.com.



Before we finish the last entry in the morethanamap blog series, we’d like to thank our featured developers again. We’re proud to share these stories because we recognize that one of the most important parts of the Google Maps API is the community of developers around the world who inspire other developers to do great things.

The Developers
  • Sydney, Australia - We met up with GetFlight founder Ian Cumming. GetFlight is airfare search site based that uses the Google Maps API to help users discover cheap airfare to great destinations.
  • Bangkok, Thailand - Co-founder of Computerlogy, Vachara Aemavat showed us the projects his team has built such as a store locator for Siam Commercial Bank and a viral maps app that helped people find high ground during the Thai flood seasons.
  • Nairobi, Kenya - Mark de Blois and Bernadette Ndege from Upande showed Virtual Kenya which is an online geospatial platform to visualize and share data about Kenya.
  • Hamburg, Germany - Ubilabs, a Google Maps focused development shop, showed us some projects they have built for Germany’s largest brands such as Deutsche Telekom, Blitzer.de, and BMW.
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil - Epungo founders André Tannús and Rodrigo Hanashiro gave us a tour of their real estate startup at their global headquarters (also known as André’s living room).
  • San Paulo, Brazil - We met with Kekanto co-founder, Allan Kajimoto. Kekanto is a popular ratings and recommendations startup based in Sao Paulo that serves all of Latin America.

Below you can view a brief recap of the our journey around the world with Google Maps API developers:



Many thanks again to all the developers for inviting us into their offices, homes, and workspaces and sharing their latest projects with us. Since the start of the Google Maps API, we’ve always been excited to see how people are using maps to make things better and we look forward to the next wave of innovation created by you.

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Author PhotoI’m back from Sydney and excited about the upcoming US Thanksgiving Holiday. Of course I’ll probably spend some of the weekend coding and making maps. If you’re like me, I think you’ll enjoy the video I have to share with you as inspiration for your work.

Yesterday, Paul Saxman did a special Maps Developer Live session Mapping with Style, where he discussed how he designed a few of his favorite map styles, and shared a few of his tools and techniques for designing maps for visualizations.



Next Tuesday at 10 am Pacific Time, Brendan Kenny and I will be doing the first installment of Google Maps Garage, where we discuss practical aspects of developing Google Maps applications. In this episode, we will delve into common mistakes people make in developing Maps applications.

Finally, I should note for our French Maps fans that we added France to the Traffic Layer in the Maps API.


To see if traffic is available in your country, you can check our Maps coverage spreadsheet.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations team

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Map of the Week: Kekanto

[Editors Note: Last month we launched morethanamap.com to showcase the unique features of the Google Maps API. As part of this project, we’ve been featuring stories from our global community of developers who are using the Google Maps API to start businesses, help improve their communities or save the environment.]

This week we stay in São Paulo, to meet with one of the co-founders of Kekanto. Kekanto is a local search guide created specifically for users in Latin America who want to explore cities, share opinions and meet new people. What’s really exciting about Kekanto is to see a startup that aims to conquer the Spanish and Portuguese speaking markets first, which is made possible due in part to the coverage and language capabilities in Google Maps. We met up with Allan just as the rapidly growing site was moving into a new (a larger office) in São Paulo.

Kekanto was started when the founders realized that US-based local search guides were not really gaining traction with users when exported to Latin America. To make sure that users connected with a product made for them, Kekanto puts an emphasis on hiring managers on the ground that are native residents of their target cities across Latin America. Sharing a successful formula used by other local guides, the site takes a Google Map centric approach to drive activity on the site. The site also uses the Google Places API to provide local search results.


As a whole the design of the Kekanto site is easy to use and it does a great job of integrating the maps where the need to be, without letting them get in the way. We really like are the ability to view public transit layers directly on the map and the ability to calculate directions on the site as well. Another design feature we like is the use of business photos in the custom marker icons. This is really nice way to identify a business and tie the map back to the listings next to the map.

In the video below, Kekanto co-founder Alan Kajimoto gives us a live demonstration of the site.



Many thanks to the Kekanto team for inviting us into their office and sharing their site with us. To learn more about Kekanto and the things that you can do with the Google Maps API, visit morethanamap.com. We end our journey around the world here in São Paulo and we thank all of the great developers who were gracious enough to share with us their story. Next week we’ll recap the journey as well the launch of morethanamap.com, so stay tuned for our final series installment!

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Author PhotoI’m at the Google office in Sydney, meeting with Engineers and attending the Geo for Good event. I love being in Sydney, it’s a great city. I got mixed up on the time zones, and realized that I was writing a post on Friday in Sydney but it’ll be published on Friday in California. I should have used the Google Time Zone API. Or, you know, Google Calendar.

This week I have a video for you, and some slides. First the video.

Last Friday, Paul Saxman did a Google Maps Developers Live session, Google Maps Developers Live: Ships, Polylines, Symbols, Oh My!, continuing from the previous session he had done with Brendan Kenny, Visualizing Data with the Google Maps API: A Journey of 245k Points.

Here’s the video:



On Tuesday, I presented at Geo for Good Down Under, a Google Earth Outreach event. My session was New Advanced Features of the Google Maps API, and I posted my slides and links to my demos.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

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Map of the Week: Epungo

[Editors Note: Last month we launched morethanamap.com to showcase the unique features of the Google Maps API. As part of this project, each week we’ll be featuring one story from our global community of developers who are using the Google Maps API to start businesses, help improve their communities or save the environment.]

This week we cross the equator again, moving from Hamburg to São Paulo, where we meet with the founders of the Brazilian real estate start-up Epungo. Founded by Rodrigo Hanashiro and André Tannús, Epungo is a Google Maps API powered real estate search site that is attempting to make real estate search easy in one of the largest and most complicated cities in the world.

We met up with the founders at their office, which in true start-up fashion, is also André’s living room. In addition to being one of the most innovative Google Maps API sites based in Brazil, what’s really exciting is visiting with two entrepreneurs whose entire focus is on making the best Google Maps based experience for their users.

Epungo was founded when André realized most real estate search sites in Brazil focused on traditional text-based listing. Issues like variable neighborhood definitions, public transit complexities, and high urban density make it nearly impossible to search for real estate using addresses and descriptions alone. The Epungo solution to this problem is to concentrate all the search efforts on a map with a clean, well designed, and easy to use interface. To make search easier users have a several map tools to choose from, such as Drawing Tools functionality, custom colored coded icons, and embedded Street View.


According to the founders, one of the main reasons they chose to develop on the Google Maps API was that the coverage and comprehensiveness of Google’s road data, as well as satellite and Street View imagery in Brazil makes it possible for Epungo to reach markets that would otherwise be impossible.

In the video below, Epungo co-founders Rodrigo Hanashiro and André Tannús give us a live demonstration of their site.



Many thanks to the Epungo team for inviting us into their office (and home) and sharing with us their latest projects. To learn more about Epungo and the things that you can do with the Google Maps API, visit morethanamap.com. Tune in next week to read about our visit with Kekanto.

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Map of the Week: Ubilabs

[Editors Note: Earlier this month we lauched morethanamap.com to showcase the unique features of the Google Maps API. As part of this project, each week we’ll be featuring one story from our global community of developers who are using the Google Maps API to start businesses, help improve their communities or save the environment.]

This week we move on from Nairobi to Hamburg, where we met with Ubilabs. In the middle of Hamburg’s old town is a rapidly growing workshop of developers, designers, and business people focused on building the next generation of Google Maps powered applications. Their speciality has been used to build applications for Europe’s largest brands such as Deutsche Telekom, Blitzer.de, and BMW. Below are a few examples built by Ubilabs that showcase great design and community action powered by the Google Maps API.

Crowd-sourcing to Fix Real Estate Problems
In a thriving city, real estate comes at a premium and sometimes people take advantage of that scarcity by mislabeling or misusing available real estate. To combat this problem, Ubilabs was called upon to build Leerstandsmelder.de (or the "Vacancy Reporter") in which users exchange information about the activities of a given property on a Google Map. Users can upload address data, photos, and detailed information here. They can also coordinate their search using Google Street View imagery integrated on the site. The result is that users can pool their collective knowledge to document alleged misuses and use this resource to lobby their local government to take action.


Showcasing a Global Brand
When Deutsche Telekom relaunched their corporate website they used Ubilabs and Google Maps to build a showcase of all of their affiliated companies and holdings worldwide. What makes this map great is that it uses several Google Maps API features to create a customized experience to reflect the corporate identity of Deutsche Telekom. Features like Styled Maps are used to match corporate colors, while custom markers, navigation and info windows complete a distinct identity. What's most unique about this map is the use of Google Maps as both the background and the foreground on the page. The map extends across the entire page with navigational menus floating on top of the map. The design flexibility, speed, and responsiveness of the Google Maps API are part what makes a design like this possible.


In the video below, Ubilabs co-founders Martin Kleppe and Michael Pletziger give us a live demonstration of these great projects.



Many thanks to the Ubilabs team for inviting us into their office and sharing with us their latest projects. To learn more about Ubilabs and the things that you can do with the Google Maps API, visit morethanamap.com. Tune in next week to read about our visit with Epungo in São Paulo, Brazil.