Monday, September 15, 2008

Open-Sourced Goodies for your Flash Maps: KMLParser, MarkerManager, and Planetary MapTypes

Sometimes there's functionality that's ridiculously useful for a niche group of developers, and completely unnecessary for others. That's the kind of functionality that's now available in our brand spanking new "Google Maps API for Flash Utility Library" open-source project, and is ready for developers to use, modify, and even improve.

Our 3 inaugural libraries are:

MarkerManager: This library is an AS3 port of the MarkerManager in the JS open-source library. It enables developers to easily manage markers per zoom level/viewport, and is commonly combined with clustering. Though Flash is natively better at rendering large amounts of markers, developers have reported increased performance when using the MarkerManager with thousands of markers.
KML Parser: This library parses a KML file into objects representing the KML DOM, and includes helper code for turning them into map objects (Marker, Polygon, GroundOverlay, etc) and creating a sidebar using the Tree list Flex component. Note that this class ignores elements and attributes that can't be rendered in the Maps API for Flash.
Planetary MapTypes: This library contains map types for Mars, Sky, and Moon, and is a port of all the non-earth map types available in the JS API. This will help you make your maps application out of this world.

To check out the docs and demos for each library, visit our Libraries wiki. If you end up using any of the libraries for your own projects, please let us know in the forum.

For information on contributing patches or libraries to the project, visit our FAQ. To all of you talented AS3 developers (I know you're out there; I've seen you in the group!), I hope that you consider adding to our central repository of helpful add-ons for the Maps API for Flash.