Wednesday, May 20, 2009
From simple GPS tracks to rich KML documents to collaborative maps, the geo developer community has continually redefined and enriched the geoweb, giving rise to better canvases for geographic participatory culture. Notably, the Google Maps API and other tools have led to the creation of more dynamic and interactive content, putting new demands on the ways in which geodata is stored, accessed, indexed and rendered. To address these challenges, today we've released the Google Maps Data API in Labs, a Google Data API for viewing, storing and updating geodata on the web. The Google Maps Data API is built on the following principles:
- Storage should scale simply with usage. You shouldn't have to worry about maintaining a data store to build a cool Google Maps mashup. Focus on building the client, and we'll provide hosting and bandwidth for free.
- Geodata should be accessible across platforms and devices. With many client libraries and clients, accessing stored geodata should be possible from anywhere, whether it's on the web, a mobile phone, a 3D application, or even a command line.
- Realtime geodata requires realtime indexing. For a lot of geographic content, freshness is important. Geodata from the Google Maps Data API can be instantly indexed and made searchable in Google Maps.
- My Maps Editor for Android allows users to create and edit personalized maps from an Android mobile phone. Integration with the phone's location and camera makes it easy to document a trip with photos and text on a map.
- ConnectorLocal is a service that informs users about the places where they live, work and visit by gathering trusted hyperlocal information from many sources. Using the Google Maps Data API, ConnectorLocal makes it easy for users to import and export their geodata in and out of Google Maps, and also improves their ability to have data indexed in Google Maps for searching.
- My Tracks enables Android mobile phone users to record GPS tracks and view live statistics while jogging, biking, or participating in other outdoor activities. Stored with Google Maps Data API, these tracks can be accessed, edited and shared using the My Maps feature in Google Maps.
- Platial, a social mapping service for people and places, uses the Google Maps API to host geodata for community maps on both Platial and Frappr.