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Google I/O starts tomorrow, and as always, Google Maps is a big part of the show. The team has been working hard to give developers a great experience. We’re looking forward to seeing you there, or your comments online on our videos. There will be lots of maps engineers, developer relations team members, product managers and more around I/O. So if you’re there, find us, say hi and show us your apps!

We’ve already released one video (embedded below). Watch the I/O Bytes 2014 channel for more to come. Also in this post is a tantalizing glimpse into four of our I/O sessions.

Video


Map Up your Apps!
with Megan Boundey

Interested in adding Google Maps to your mobile apps but needing inspiration? Did you know that you can now add Street View to your apps too? See how incorporating maps into your app can delight your users! We'll show you some exciting uses of the Google Maps Mobile APIs and describe the functionality available in the APIs as we go.


Sessions

The first three sessions are available by livestream, and all sessions will be available on YouTube in the Google Developers Channel after I/O.

Google Maps is creating the world's most comprehensive geolocated photo library through Street View. We're also empowering anyone to contribute photos and 360-degree panoramas to Google Maps via products like Trekker, Business View, Views, and Photo Sphere. In this talk, we'll show how developers can integrate billions of panoramas into their projects. We'll also show how anyone can quickly publish imagery of places they care about, then easily access them via our APIs and viewers. This session is relevant to developers creating experiences that include location and imagery.

Satellites have been systematically collecting imagery of our changing planet for more than 40 years, yet until recently this treasure trove of “big data” has not been online and available for high-performance data mining. This session will cover the new Google Earth Engine technology and experimental API for massively-parallel geospatial analysis on daily-updating global datasets such as Landsat satellite imagery. Scientists and other domain experts are developing new EE-powered applications which map, measure and monitor our changing planet in unprecedented detail, for the benefit of people and the environment. Applications include tracking and reducing global deforestation; mapping and mitigating the risks of earthquakes and extreme weather events such as floods and drought; and even creating new kinds of geo-visualizations such as the 2014 Webby award-winning “Timelapse” - a zoomable, browsable HTML5 video animation of the entire Earth from 1984-2012, built from nearly a petabyte of Landsat data. These early results merely hint at what’s now possible.

How do you redesign a product used by a billion people? The Google Maps team recently launched their biggest redesign since the product was introduced 8 years ago. The lead designers will take you through the journey, illustrating three lessons learned that can apply to any design and product development process.

Built on Google’s developer platform, Santa Tracker lets millions of children and adults track Santa in 34 languages as he delivers presents across the world. The project’s technical leads go behind the scenes to provide insight into the challenges of building a cohesive Google developer platform experience across mobile/desktop web, Android, Chromecast, Maps and Search; all powered by a Go AppEngine backend.

See you at I/O, or online at +GoogleMapsAPI and @GoogleMapsAPI.


Posted by Mano Marks, Developer Relations Team

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With rich autocomplete and place search functionality, the Google Places API includes several powerful features to find, discover, and interact with the world’s places. Now we’re making it even easier for developers to work with places by launching Place IDs and enhancements to our Add-a-Place functionality!

Place IDs


Until today, Places API developers had to work with a dual-ID system: IDs (id) were used to compare places and References (reference) were for fetching a place’s information. The new Place IDs (place_id) can serve both those purposes, and are also shorter and simpler than the typically long and unwieldy References.

With today’s launch, Place IDs will be returned in all responses that include the existing ID and Reference fields, and they can also be used instead of References to uniquely identify a place in Place Details requests. We believe Place IDs have clear functional and simplicity benefits over the previous ID and Reference system, and we’ll be removing IDs and Reference support from the Places API a year from now, on June 24th, 2015.

Add-a-Place


While Google strives to bring developers the freshest local data, sometimes users know about places before we do, and we want to make sure they can add and interact with new places right away. That’s why the Places API has an Add-a-Place feature, that with today’s update, can also include a new place’s address, website, and phone number in the request.

This additional data will be automatically associated and returned with the new place, so end-users can benefit from additional useful place information without forcing developers to store extra data. The new fields also help streamline Google’s internal place moderation process, which augments Google’s places repository with places added via the Places API, leading to more up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate local data for everyone.

A great example of how to integrate the Add-a-Place feature is Zodio, a popular social location-based app from Thailand. They use the Places API’s Add-a-Place feature in their check-in experience so their users can always share where they are, even if the place is currently missing from the Places API.
Zodio_Add_Name.png
Please visit our developer documentation to learn more about the Places API. As you build the next awesome location-based app, please post any questions to our StackOverflow community and send us feedback via the Google Maps API Issue Tracker.

Posted by David McLeish and Kevin Tran, Software Engineers, Google Places API

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In the past few years we’ve seen GeoJSON explode as a method to share geographic data and developers are using GeoJSON to create amazing visualizations. As a consequence, however, we’re seeing less interest in non-customizable layers directly provided by API providers.

So, starting today, we will begin sunsetting the Google Maps JavaScript API v3 Panoramio Library and Weather Library. Per the terms of our deprecation policy, the Panoramio, weather, and cloud layers served by these libraries will continue to function until one year from today and will be removed on June 4, 2015.

We’d also like to remind developers that the Flash Maps API’s deprecation period ends on September 2, 2014. The Flash Maps API will shut down on that date, so if you’re still using the API, it’s time to start planning your migration.

If you have any questions about these announcements, our friendly developer relations team is always happy to help. Please tag questions with ‘google-maps-api-3’ on StackOverflow and we’ll respond shortly.