Sunday, December 5, 2010

The map markers! They move!

Maps API v2 had a built in animation that raised and bounced the marker when it was being dragged. When we looked into adding this feature to Maps API v3 we decided to go a step further and give developers more options for animating markers.

In addition to adding the drag animation offered in v2 we are today releasing two new marker animations that developers can trigger. Firstly there is BOUNCE which simply bounces a marker indefinitely to draw attention to it. The other is DROP which adds a marker to the map by dropping it from above with a small bounce.

We rely on a combination of JavaScript and CSS animations to ensure smooth motion across all devices, which was particularly challenging for the DROP animation, as it has a very short duration with a lot of movement. As a consequence this is the first feature we have launched that is not compatible with IE6 since we ended support for that browser (markers still appear in IE6 and can be dragged, but do not animate).

For more details on how to trigger animations check the documentation. While you are there you may notice that the MaxZoom service, which allows you to determine the maximum zoom level of satellite imagery available at a given location, is also now available in Maps API v3.

As always, if you have any questions about these features, or any other aspect of Maps API v3 development, we recommend that you post to the Google Maps API v3 Forum.