Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Geo APIs Summer Learning Series: Speedy Maps

When you're developing for the web, every last second counts. The ever-present "back" button can sometimes be a developer's worst nightmare: a fraction of a second can be the difference between the user engaging with your content, and abandoning your site before it finishes loading.

Speed is something that Google takes very seriously; in fact, “Fast is better than slow” is ingrained in our company philosophy of Ten things we know to be true. It’s not just loading the page that needs to be fast; the interactive content of the page needs to be fast too. Only when the content is fast and fluid can your users fully immerse themselves.

In our session Speedy Maps, we dove into some of the techniques you can use when developing your site to make it really fly. We also talk about some of the lessons we’ve learned while developing the Maps API, and how we’ve used our learnings to improve the maps experience on both mobile and desktop browsers.



The API team is embracing new browser technologies whenever we can to help improve page rendering speed. For example, if you have large graphic-intensive displays on your website, you might consider using the <canvas> tag to paint the display, rather than many individual <img> tags. A demo is always worth a thousand words – click the two buttons below to see how much more quickly the canvas element renders the content:


Watch the video of the talk, and explore all the demos in our slides to discover some of the techniques you can use on your site to make it fast. You should also check out http://code.google.com/speed/ – the home of all Google’s speedy resources.

Good luck, and may all your pages be fast ones!