Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My, they grow up so fast...

A year ago at Google I/O, we introduced the Maps API v3, a new JavaScript Maps API built from the ground up to offer a clean, fast, and powerful maps application development platform for both desktop web browsers and mobile devices.

The v3 API has come a long way since then, with regular updates to introduce new features. Some, such as polylines, polygons, driving directions, and KML were familiar from the Maps API v2. Others, such as elevation, bicycling directions, and optimised routing were completely new.

Now Google I/O is upon us again, and we feel our Maps API v3 is all grown up and ready to venture out into the world. Consequently we are delighted to announce the graduation of the Maps API v3 from Google Code Labs, and the passing of the title of principal Google Maps API from the Maps API v2 to the Maps API v3.

This means that the Maps API v3 is now the recommended version for all new Maps API application development. The Maps API v3 is now supported for use by Maps API Premier customers, and the Maps API Premier SLA has been extended to cover v3 applications. We are also rolling out a new versioning scheme for Maps API v3, that will allow applications to choose between using the very latest release, a release that is undergoing maintenance but no feature development, or a version that is completely frozen.

In order to ensure that existing Maps API v2 applications can be migrated to Maps API v3, we have also been striving to add all of the most popular v2 features to v3. As part of that effort we are also happy to announce that Street View is now available in the Maps API v3.

When you use Street View in v3 you will notice a number of differences with v2. The most significant change is that Street View is entirely implemented in HTML in order to accommodate all of the mobile devices on which v3 is supported. We have also added Pegman support to the map, and a number of new features, including markers, infowindows, and custom imagery.

In conjunction with the graduation of the Maps API v3, we are also announcing the deprecation of the Maps API v2 and Mapplets (which is based on v2). These deprecation announcements confirm that no further feature development is planned for these two APIs. However, we will continue to maintain and support applications using these APIs for at least three years consistent with the deprecation policy detailed in the Maps API Terms of Service.

Next month the Google Maps API celebrates its fifth birthday. With the firm foundation that the Maps API v3 provides, we look forward to another five years enabling incredible mapping applications across the web. We’d like to thank our entire developer community for all of their support in making the Google Maps APIs such a success, and we can’t wait to bring you many more exciting new features in Maps API v3.

Fortunately, we won’t have to wait very long...