Thursday, February 19, 2009

Map Maker for Developers



Since June 2008, thousands of passionate users have been mapping their heart out in mapmaker.google.com. The maps made are some of the finest ever seen in these 160+ countries. In a developer day we did in Bangalore, the top request from developers was if we can get these fresh maps in the API so that their users can benefit from the community's effort. We responded by launching the tiles from Map Maker as new map types in both the Google JavaScript Maps API (v2.146) and the Static Maps API as new map types. So if you have a Google maps mashup that is primarily used in one of these countries or you simply want to embed a fresh map in your blog post or web page, you can use these maps that are updated every day by the map maker community. Google is committed to providing the best maps possible to users everywhere and this is just one more step in our quest to make maps from mapmaker as useful to users as possible.

Here is how you can use these new features.

JS API syntax
Use G_MAPMAKER_NORMAL_MAP and G_MAPMAKER_HYBRID_MAP in lieu of the normal map and hybrid types to show mapmaker map tiles and hybrid tiles respectively. Remember that these serve maps only for the countries being edited in mapmaker, not all the countries available in maps.google.com. If you're making a mashup with a global audience, you may want to add logic to switch between the map types, or offer the option to the users.

Static Maps API syntax
users can access mapmaker tiles using 'maptype' values of "mapmaker-roadmap" or "mapmaker-hybrid" e.g. http://maps.google.com/staticmap?center=31.494445,74.334011&zoom=15&size=512x512&maptype=mapmaker-roadmap&key=MAPS_API_KEY&sensor=false

See the comparison of this URL vs the same URL without the "maptype=mapmaker-roadmap" for Lahore, Pakistan.

 


If you have data that you want to update yourself - whether you're a city GIS expert, a company's webmaster or just a local expert, you can edit map maker and the new data will show on your mashup within a day. For more information read the latest developments on our Lat Long blog, visit Map Maker, interact with the map maker community, or go to our help site. And, as always, please follow up with your suggestions and questions in the forum.