Map of the Week:  Roadtrippers

Why we like it: Roadtrippers bills itself as a “simple and intuitive road trip planner that helps you discover, plan and book the best places and experiences along your way, curated by local experts and travel writers” and their approach sure works.

Roadtrippers lets you build itineraries within the US through a simple map interface, and store them on their site.

Their interfaces uses the Autocomplete feature of the Places Library and the Directions Service to let you create multi-waypoint trips, as well as calculate gas mileage and time the drive would take.

They also let you search for places along the way that would be good to visit.

They also have great guides for finding areas to visit.

This combination of features makes it a great site to plan your travel.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

Today we’re happy to announce of an updated version of the Google Maps SDK for iOS.

This version of the SDK includes support for ground overlays, gesture control and geodesic polylines.  To get started, enable the Google Maps SDK for iOS service in the Google APIs Console alongside other Google APIs.

We’ve also included a new sample app to make it even easier to learn how to use Google maps in your app.  Here’s a video with Mano Marks and Paul Saxman demonstrating the capabilities of the Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.1 release.

We hope these updates will enable you to enhance your app with Google maps (or create some new ones!).  As always, keep sending us your feedback and ideas, as we continue to make improvements to the SDK based on ideas that you’ve suggested and starred. For additional support, head over to Stack Overflow with your technical questions or watch our Google Maps Developers Live shows for tips, tricks and news about using the Google Maps APIs.  

Posted by Andrew Foster, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps


Map of the Week: Snapette

Why we like it: Snapette is “the fashionable shopper’s handy best friend. Our easy-to-use mobile app is the perfect shopping tool to help you find designer fashion currently in stores near you.” With both a website for browsing fashion in specific shops, and mobile apps that let you view what’s around you, it is a great match of shopping and maps.

On Android, Snapette uses the new Google Maps Android SDK V2 to show stores where a particular product is available.

And you can click on an individual store and get driving directions.

The integration of the new Android SDK lets you tilt and turn the map to get a better sense of distance.

Overall, it’s a great shopping experience, and a great mapping experience.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

We’re happy to announce the winners of the Google Places API Developer Challenge, an event that brought together 87 developers from 27 countries around the world to build applications that address some of the most pressing needs facing our communities. The winning apps address important community issues such as emergency response, homelessness, public transport and environmental impact. Many exciting prizes await these talented developers, whom we look forward to seeing later this year at Google I/O.

Challenge participants were encouraged by civic leaders to combine the Google Places API with one or more municipal data sets to create an application that helps improve their communities.  You can check out the applications gallery to see the full suite of incredible applications submitted by developers around the globe, then continue reading to see how the four winning developers and three runners-up succeeded in meeting the goals of the challenge!

And the winners are...

Judges’ Choice Awards: by Jonathan Kraemer (Brazil) is an application that helps flood victims find shelter and other resources.  Users can see the flooded areas on different river levels to plan evacuation routes, and determine safe routes to supermarkets, hospitals and shelters.  In the future, the application may allow users to register issues like car accidents, falling trees blocking streets and other road blockages to assist with safe route planning.  View the demo video.

Homeless REACH by Jim Horner (United States)
The Homeless REACH platform allows anyone to quickly find up-to-date, real-time information on available shelters and services within a selectable radius of their current location or from any address.  Designed for caregivers, the application allows individuals to quickly and accurately find resources to aid in the care of the homeless.  View the demo video.

TTC Pass by Christian Muise (Canada)
TTC Pass is a website that allows for collaborative editing of the locations for purchasing various transit fares in the city of Toronto.  Visitors can search for specific types of transit passes, update the availability of passes at a specific location, or add new locations to the data.  View the demo video.

We’d also like to recognize the runners up, who submitted some amazing apps:

  • CrosscutUSA by CrosscutUSA (United States) - View the demo video.
  • Save the Rain by Mark Laudon (Canada) - View the demo video.
  • GrowShare by William Mantegna (United States) - View the demo video.

People’s Choice Award:  

GeoLanka by Bhagya Silva (Sri Lanka)
Over the past years, the property prices of Sri Lanka have risen to an all-time high.  One of the primary reasons is that there is no consolidated way to discover values of properties that are for sale around any place.  GeoLanka brings together all the leading property sales/rental websites in Sri Lanka to one view where the general public can go and view the properties for sale/rent.  View the demo video.

We’d like to thank all of the developers who participated in this challenge for contributing their great ideas and hard work! We discovered some great examples of simple, useful, and powerful applications that have the potential to really improve local communities and cities, and the lives of the people that live there.  

For more information on the Geo APIs, please visit:

Posted by Rob Gray, Head of Product Marketing, Google Maps for Business

Map of the Week: Street Ready, by Converse and Foot Locker

Why we like it: Street Ready is a cool app that uses the Google Maps API Street View service to create a fun game in the streets of London, Paris, and Milan. 

As you move around the game, you see animated Markers. The goal is to navigate around each city to reach the markers, which then transform into shoe icons. Collect them all to complete the level.

Some of the icons turn into a pair of headphones, which give you a prize of downloadable music.

I haven’t gotten all the way through so maybe there are other prizes as well. Check it out, listen to some tunes, and see if you can get a high score by getting through a level really fast.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

We’ve made it to Friday once again, and once again we’ve got a video for you.

But first, we just added draggable polygons to the Google Maps API. All you have to do is set draggable: true in PolygonOptions. My team member, Luke Mahe released a cool puzzle that demonstrates moving the polygons around map. And, when you do, the polygon will keep size and shape respective to the projection. Which means, when you move the polygon it may appear to grow or shrink depending on where it is on the map.

This week, Chris Broadfoot did a Google Maps Developers Live session: Photo Spheres and Street Views. He explains how to go from a Photo Sphere taken with an Android Jelly Bean 4.2 device to a custom Street View panorama. You can contribute Photo Spheres to Google’s Street View directly, or you can create a pano with the Google Maps API right away. Check out the video here:

In upcoming events, there’s a great hack event in San Francisco called EcoHack, February 22-23. EcoHack is about using technology to improve and better understand our natural environment. Several Googlers will be there, including Maps Developer Relations’ own Josh Livni. Check it, help the planet, and have fun coding.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team