Shiver me timbers! The Google Maps Street View team has stumbled on an amazing find: a long lost treasure map belonging to the infamous pirate, William “Captain” Kidd! The map was found during a recent expedition in the Indian Ocean, as part of a deep-water dive to expand our underwater Street View collection. We’ve digitized the map and enlisted the world’s help to decipher the encrypted symbols and lead us to the hidden treasure.

We of course anticipate a mad rush as pirates and noble seafarers alike race to uncover and claim Captain Kidd’s bounty. The high seas are about to become dangerous. Arrr!

But don’t worry! Brendan, our head of pirate security, has placed GPS trackers on all pirate ships known to be after this treasure and has created a map tracking their locations in real time.

Now, obviously you’ll need more than just a pirate tracking map to find Captain Kidd’s treasure, and so we’ve made building your own app with Captain Kidd’s treasure map simple: just add treasureMode: 'aye' to the map options when creating a map using JavaScript Maps API v3.

Happy hunting!

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It’s Friday, and the week, and month, are almost over. Time for the weekend celebrations, and some map coding, to begin!

This week, I have a couple of videos for you. First up, we have the latest Google Maps Garage episode, Raster Data For Your Mobile Maps. Josh Livni and Paul Saxman explore adding map tiles from a WMS service to your Android app using the Google Maps Android API V2.

This week, I also did a Google Maps Shortcuts episode, Build Your First Google Maps iOS App. In it, I show you how to get quickly up and running using the hellomap-ios project on github.

Have a good weekend and happy mapping!

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team


Map of the Week: Cambridge Cluster Map

Why we like it: The Cambridge Cluster Map is a simple, visually appealing map that shows off the power of using a map to make a meaningful data visualization. According to their site, “The Map is designed to open the Cambridge technology cluster to the world. Through visualisations, reports and directories the Map paints a vivid picture of the business community that’s grown up over forty years.“

The map uses Circles, custom icons, InfoWindows, and Styled Maps to show data in various data sets, including fast growing companies, billion dollar companies, spinouts from Cambridge University, and much more.

One interesting feature is the use of circles, which the map places under a marker to show the amount of revenue generated in that location. The bigger the circle, the bigger the revenue.

The custom icons serve double purpose, showing both the number of employes and the kind of building, with multiple companies or a single one.

All in all a beautiful map which also manages to convey a lot of information.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team


Another great week, another great Friday.

First in news from yesterday, the first imagery from the latest NASA LDCM satellite, known as Landsat 8, started coming in. I’m really excited since I got to watch the launch. I can’t wait for the imagery to start showing up in Google Earth and Maps.

This week, we have another great Google Maps Shortcut video and some code from Chris Broadfoot, Kick-start Google Maps Android API v2 Development. Chris walks you through how to quickly get started with developing an app using the Google Maps Android API.

And his hellomap code can be found on github

Next week, we have Paul Saxman and Josh Livni presenting the latest Google Maps Garage, Raster Data For Your Mobile Maps.

A few weeks ago, I told you about Luke Mahe’s Mercator Puzzle. Well, Vasile Cotovanu has ported it for Swiss cantons puzzle. And he has posted his code on github.

Nice work Vasile!

I hope you have a great weekend. See you next week!

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team


Map of the Week: #FindTheEggs

Why we like it: #FindTheEggs is a fun use of the Google Maps API Street View Service.

Users search around their neighborhood to find eggs, which are created using Markers.

There’s a nicely styled inset map to help you find them, called Eggdar:

When you click an egg, you get an animation of it opening:

If you get all three eggs, you get a prize which you can redeem in store or online. Provided you’re a UK resident :-).

All in all a fun game that makes a nice promotion for Tesco.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

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It’s time to finish another great week with Fab Friday!

On Wednesday, the Google Earth Outreach announced the Outreach Developer Grants. It’s a great opportunity to do good for the world, so check it out.

On Tuesday, I recorded another Google Maps Developers Shortcut, Earthquakes on the Move, where I talked about parsing GeoJSON from the US Geological Survey to display earthquakes on the Google Maps SDK for iOS.

Next week Chris Broadfoot will show you how to kick-start Google Maps Android API v2 Development. If you’re an Android developer who wants to work with the new Google Maps API, or a Maps developer who wants to make the move to Android, this is the GDL for you.

Have a great weekend, and see you next week!

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team


Cross posted from the Google Maps Blog

For the third year, I’m excited to announce the call for 2013 Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants applications is now open. Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants provide funding to nonprofit organizations ranging between $10,000 and $20,000 on average to build a map that will help them accomplish their mission, be it around environmental issues, humanitarian causes, disaster relief prevention, or health issues. If your nonprofit has a great idea for a map that can change the world, apply for a 2013 Google Earth Outreach Developer Grant today.

This year, we checked in with our 2011 Developer Grantees to learn about the impact their maps had on each nonprofit’s overall mission one year after the launch of the map. We were proud of the many achievements of the nonprofits’ work. Here are some of my favorite examples:

WWF & Eyes on the Forest mapped deforestation rates and wildlife habitat in Sumatra.

WWF & Eyes on the Forest created a map to showcase deforestation in Sumatra. With the Google Maps Engine map as part of their “Don’t Flush Tiger Forests” campaign, they convinced 17 out of 20 US retailers to stop buying toilet paper from companies cutting down intact hardwood rainforests and critical tiger habitat in Sumatra. 

The HALO Trust mapped their minefield clearance work in a Google Earth Tour

The HALO Trust clears minefields in previously war-torn regions around the world, including Angola, Afghanistan and Cambodia. Upon the launch of their Google Earth tours designed to raise awareness about their work, they saw the most traffic to their website over the entire calendar year.

iNaturalist taps into citizen scientists who submit research-grade species observations to a global map using Android devices and iPhones’s Android app, designed to collect species observations from around the world from citizen scientists, has been installed on over 2000 Android devices. The number of scientific-grade research observations has more than quadrupled.

We look forward to hearing about the impacts of our 2012 Developer Grantees’ maps as they are launched in coming months. Good luck to nonprofits who apply to our 2013 Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants, and if you are a nonprofit with a great idea for a map, apply for a grant!

Posted by Tanya Birch, Google Earth Outreach


In March 2010, we released the Geocoding API V3 web service, adding features such as a correctness measure and recommended viewports, to give developers more tools for creating amazing mapping applications. At that time, we also announced our intention to shut down V2 of the API in March 2013.

We’re hearing from many developers that they need more time for the transition to the Geocoding API V3. So, we’re extending the deprecation timeline for V2 by six months. This means the Geocoding API V2 will continue to work until September 8, 2013 and we will shut the API off on that date. If you’re a developer and have questions about migrating existing applications to Geocoding API V3, please see our handy upgrade guide for help.

Today we’re also reducing the limit on Geocoding API V2 from 15,000 requests per day to 2,500 requests per day, which is equivalent to the daily limit on the Geocoding API V3. If you are affected by this limit reduction and require more geocoding quota, please contact our sales team.

If you have questions about these changes, Google and the broader Google Maps developer community can help. Please tag your question with the “google-geocoding-api” tag on Stack Overflow.

Maps for Business customers will be unaffected by this change and will continue to be subject to their purchased limits.

It’s Friday again, and I’m really ready for the weekend, let me tell you! It’ll give me some time to develop some mapping ideas I have, mostly involving earthquake feeds.

Speaking of which, I’ll be doing another Google Maps Developer Shortcuts next Tuesday on loading JSON feeds into an iOS map using the Google Maps SDK for iOS. Join me at 10am Pacific.

On Tuesday I did a Shortcut on using Storyboards with the Google Maps SDK for iOS. Check it out:

Lastly, I spoke this week at GDG Silicon Valley on Google Maps Mobile APIs. Here are my slides from the event.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations team

Map of the Week: Dallas Theological Seminary Campus Map

Why we like it: The DTS campus map takes advantage of the Google Maps API 45° imagery to display the campus in a unique way. The map creates extruded shapes for the buildings, making a polygon for each wall of the building and of the roof. And by using polygons, it was easy for the developer to add in infowindows as well.

Even more impressive, when you rotate the image, the map redraws the buildings so they stay in the correct orientation.

This map is an excellent example of simply making the Google Maps experience even better.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations team

Fab Friday is back, and raring to go. I have a couple of videos for you today, but first a couple of announcements.

On Tuesday, Android Play Services launched an update, which included new features in the Google Maps Android API v2. Circles, new Polygon features, an OnMyLocationChangeListener, and more than 20 bug fixes top the list of changes.

Remember the Mercator Puzzle my colleague Luke Mahe wrote a few weeks ago? Well, he updated it, added more countries and randomized which ones show up in the puzzle. Now it’s on More than a Map, and looking good!

Yesterday, for the premiere episode of Google Maps Developer Shortcuts, Paul Saxman shared some tips and techniques for getting data in a Google Drive Spreadsheet onto a Google Map, using a little bit of Apps Script and touch of Javascript. Here’s the video:

Finally, last week Paul and I did a Maps Developers Live session on the latest version of the Google Maps API SDK for iOS. It’s gotten a lot of views, hopefully you’ll like it too:

Have a great weekend and see you next week!

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations