Maps APIs Blog
The Geo Developers blog covers all aspects of Google Maps APIs, including launches, updates and case studies
Fab Friday Android Video Roundup
Friday, February 14, 2014
Hey everyone! Last November I moved to Zürich. The chocolate has been so entrancing that I’m falling behind on my Fab Friday posts! The last few weeks have seen a number of
Google Android Maps API
videos going out, so I thought I’d do a roundup for you.
worked on a video with the Android team. Let’s take a look at that one first:
UXD - What is Context and Why Does it Matter?
distill user research data to show you how people use their devices, what expectations they have from them, and how this changes with their context.
Paul also brings us
Getting Started with Markers on Android
, where he
covers the basics of adding markers to your map using the
Google Maps Android API v2
Next up, we have one from a newcomer to GDLs,
. Sarah brings you
Map Padding in the
Google Maps Android API v2
, you can allow a sidebar or other UI features to hide part of a map, without hiding the Google logo and map UI controls.
Lastly, two of our fantastic interns, Emma Yeap and Iris Uy, worked o
n additions to the Google Maps Android API Utility Library
, and included this video explaining the new and much asked for
That’s all for now. Have a great weekend and happy mapping!
, Google Maps API Team
Marker Clustering and Heatmaps: New features in the Google Maps Android API Utility Library
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
A new version of the
Google Maps Android API Utility Library
is now available, which includes some
new data visualisation features - marker clustering and heatmaps.
When you have a lot of data to show, it can be hard to keep your app from becoming cluttered and messy. One solution is to group nearby markers into a single marker (cluster marker). When viewed zoomed in, individual markers are shown. However, as the user zooms out, markers group together into a single cluster marker.
You can also easily customize the appearance of individual and clustered markers.
Left: clustered markers with default look
Right: custom rendering for clusters using the
Marker clustering is ideal for visualising a large number of elements on a map whilst minimising clutter. You see a concise summary of your data when zoomed out, and as the markers separate when you zoom in, you don't lose any detail from your data.
are another new visualisation available in the utility library. Heatmaps represent geospatial data on a map by using different colours to represent areas with different concentrations of points - showing overall shape and concentration trends. Heatmaps are also known as "intensity maps".
For an overview of the heatmaps library, watch the video below:
You can use a heatmap to visualise any data set that has a geospatial component. For example, the below heatmap shows the population of cities around the world, with cities as points on the heatmap, weighted by population:
To get started with the Android Maps API Utility Library,
view the setup guide
- you can also view our guides on how to use the
features. For a summary of previously existing features in the utility library, view
Maps Shortcuts video
. As always, if you have any problems using the Android Maps API or the Utility Library, post to
has the right tags to use.
Posted by Emma Yeap and Iris Uy, Engineering Practicum interns at Google Sydney
Gradient Polylines and Structured Reverse Geocoding Results: Google Maps SDK for iOS v1.7
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
A new release of the Google Maps SDK for iOS is now available! Read on to find out about the new features included in
In this release we’ve included gradient polylines which allow you to apply different colors to different segments of your polylines. This allows you to easily indicate changes along your polyline such as speed or elevation.
There are two options:
the first is to have the color
into another color (gradient polyline),
the second is to use different
blocks of color
along your polyline.
The example below visualizes the elevation along a route using a gradient polyline.
Structured Reverse Geocoding
In the past, our reverse geocoder,
, has responded to a latitude/longitude request with the address as a formatted string. In v1.7,
can return the address as a
object, enabling you to easily access the different parts of an address without needing to parse a string. For example if you’re only interested in the country, this is available as address.country. Check out the
for further information about the properties available to you.
URL Schemes & x-callback-url
lets you launch Google Maps for iOS, displaying the map at a particular location and zoom level, showing the results of a search, or showing directions. In addition to driving, public transit and walking directions, we’ve now added
to the URL scheme.
There may be times, though, when you want to open Google Maps for iOS directly from within your app, but also want to provide the ability for users to easily return to your app via a back button when they are finished. X-callback-url, an open specification for inter-app communication and messaging between iOS apps, lets you do just that. We’ve documented how to use
to launch Google Maps for iOS, and also how to help guide users back to your app when they are ready.
High fidelity 3D buildings
Finally, some of you may know that Google Maps for iOS now has some higher fidelity 3D buildings. If you’d like your app to have access to these 3D buildings, you’ll need to upgrade to v1.7 of the Google Maps SDK for iOS. Check out our favorite, the Eiffel Tower!
We’ve also included a few bug fixes which you can read about in the
We’re always interested to hear how you’re using the Maps APIs, so let us know if you’ve got something cool to show by tagging
+Google Maps API
on your posts (or comment right here). For technical questions that aren’t answered in the
, check out the Google Maps developer community on
. Don’t forget to tell us what you’d like to see in the next release using the Google Maps API
Posted by Megan Boundey, Product Manager, Google Maps Mobile APIs
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