Day 1 done! We had a great first day at Google I/O—more than 800 developers visited our Geo sandbox to check out apps, play with 360 degree cameras and most importantly, chat with our engineers, product managers, and developer advocates about the apps they’re building.

The Geo sandbox features Sugarbear, a 1959 PD-4104 General Motors Coach that measures 35’ long by 8’ wide with a diesel engine outfitted for biodiesel. Sugarbear made an epic trip across the USA after last year’s I/O and we’ve brought her back this year for more demo fun. You can engage with interactive maps experiences and check out customer applications inside the bus. Climb Yosemite's El Capitan, calculate your solar potential with Project Sunroof, and see how Nest and the Environmental Defense Fund use location data to make our lives better. Sugarbear also features Google Maps APIs customers Trucker Path, Zendrive, Postmates, GTX Corp and Vagabond.

The Google I/O event shuttle buses are also being tracked and visualized in real time by an app we built using Firebase and Google Maps APIs. Within the Geo sandbox you can check out the app on the big screen and chat with the developers about how it works on the inside (hint: ask for Brett).

Geo also hosted one session yesterday: Location and Proximity Superpowers: Eddystone + Google Beacon Platform and we have several additional sessions on Thursday and Friday, including Understand your Place in this world and Building geo services that scale.

Finally, don’t forget about our office hours—scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at 4pm. We’ll be in the tent for an hour...bring your Maps and Location questions for our Product Managers and Developer Advocates.


Google I/O starts in just 24 hours! We’re looking forward to three days of insightful developer conversations, amazing technology and great weather. This year, Google Maps APIs engineers, technical support engineers, product managers, ux-ers, technical writers and developer advocates are traveling from Sydney, New York and Seattle to spend time in the Geo sandbox and demonstrate the power of our APIs. We'll also hold Office Hours to answer your implementation questions.

Here are three of our featured sessions for this year’s event:

Understand your place in this world
May 19, 9:00 AM
Humans navigate a world made up of places with names, addresses and phone numbers—not lat/long coordinates. The Google Places API enables an app or website to present location data to users in a human-friendly fashion. In this session we’ll do a deep dive into how you can use the Places API to discover your environment. We’ll give detailed insights into how to use the APIs on web and mobile, show off some newly-released widgets, and take a look at how you can optimize for mobile device battery life. You’ll learn how the Places API can make all your apps— not just map-centric ones—smarter.

Building geo services that scale
May 19, 2:00 PM
Not all map and geo applications run entirely on your mobile device. Perhaps you want to protect your keys or other API access data from reverse engineering by putting them in the cloud, or you have custom business logic that you run on your server that you don't want to distribute via mobile. To protect your keys and API access data you'll need to operate some kind of service. In this session you'll learn how to build that service on the Google Cloud Platform and consume it in a mobile application that uses the Google Maps APIs.

Streamlining developer experiences with the Google Maps APIs
May 20, 9:00 AM
The Google Maps APIs provide a seamless experience for developers of all levels. Some want to offer a map or navigation but don't want to build these things themselves; this can be achieved with just a few lines of code. Other developers prefer to integrate natively with off-the-shelf widgets. Finally, some developers want complete control over every aspect of the presentation. This session will highlight the Maps APIs representing the full gamut of the developer experiences, enabling you to get going immediately and scale as necessary. You'll see how widgets and services can be added over time with a suite of Maps APIs, services and libraries.

We hope you’re able to attend at least one of these sessions to learn directly from Google Maps APIs experts. And, don’t forget to stop by the Geo sandbox to chat—just look for the big bus! If you’re not able to join us in person this year, you can always keep up with our activities via Twitter or G+.


The Google Maps APIs team are keen to ensure that our customers and developer community has the most up to date and useful information about using our APIs. With that goal in mind, we’ve added RSS feeds to the Release Notes for all the Maps and Places APIs.

Until now, if you wanted to see news about our releases, you’d need to visit individual API release notes pages periodically. We don't typically announce bug-fix or other small releases via the blog or social media but these are often critical for segments of our developer community.

You can now subscribe to individual API feeds and receive updates automatically when release notes are published. We'll continue to publish all Release Notes on the website as well. Feeds available today:
Google Maps Android API 
Google Maps SDK for iOS 
Google Maps JavaScript API 
Google Maps Directions API 
Google Maps Distance Matrix API 
Google Places API for Android 
Google Places API for iOS 
Google Maps Android API Premium Plan 
Google Maps SDK for iOS Premium Plan 

I’ve been a technical writer at Google since 2013. I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to play with code and words, and to make them play nicely with each other. Maps are beautiful, and the docs help people weave stories around geography and places.

I’ll be at I/O next week, so I hope to see you there at our Geo sandbox (just look for the bus). Happy mapping!