Monday, September 26, 2011

Geo APIs Summer Learning Series: Map Your Business, Inside and Out

The Maps API is incredibly flexible, allowing developers to venture beyond the basics of web mapping into very different ways of displaying geospatial data and imagery. One way we chose to highlight this flexibility was in the I/O session “Map Your Business, Inside and Out.”

In this session, we demonstrated techniques for displaying custom data over a map, starting with a selection of locations spread out over the world, then zooming in repeatedly, ending with placing a specific object within a room.


In the video you’ll see how features in the API can be used to organize and display custom data at different zoom and conceptual levels. We talked about a number of concepts, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the Maps API. These included:

  • Overlay Tiler, a tool being developed that makes georeferencing and creating map tiles from an image simple and intuitive
  • the MapLabel utility library, that provides functionality to label features on the map in a style that blends in with the standard Google Maps road and POI labels
  • a comparison of techniques to render floor plans on the base map
  • a simple UI control that allows switching between multiple floor plans over the base map
  • a simple search widget, that enables filtering over features on the map
  • a store locator, which uses Google Fusion Tables for geospatial storage, retrieval, and spatial queries
  • gathering and stitching imagery to create Custom Street View panoramas, linked to Google Street View panoramas.

Many of these techniques were used in the Google I/O 2011 Map. The source code for that project can be found on Google Project Hosting.

We hope that developers, armed with these techniques, can create compelling maps, enabling their users to navigate inside and outside the mapped locations.