Sunday, September 20, 2009

SnapshotControl 1.0: Using the Static Maps API to Snapshot Your Maps

Hi everyone, my name is Masashi Katsumata. I'm a Maps API expert in Japan. I love playing around with the Maps APIs, and I share everything I learn on my website for Japanese speaking developers. But don't worry, English speakers - I also like to create open-source extensions for the utility library, and share them with you here.

Today, I'm annoucing my newest contribution: SnapshotControl. This control makes it easy to generate an image "snapshot" of your interactive map, using the recently released Google Static Maps API v2.

The default behavior of the control is to add a button on the map, and that button pops up a snapshot when clicked. However, the control can be hidden and the generated snapshot URLs can be programmatically retrieved, so that the library may be used in a more flexible manner. Check out this demo to play with different options and see the generated URL.

This control also knows how to encode polylines, using the Douglas-Peucker algorithm, which means that it can be used on maps with very long paths. For example, the control can create static maps for driving direction routes, as shown in the this demo.

To learn more about this control, check out the reference and more examples. Enjoy!