Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A grab bag of Maps API news

Although we normally post to this blog when we launch a major new feature, there are also smaller changes that we release from time to time that are easy to miss. Here’s a brief roundup of some of our recent updates:

Switch to googleapis.com

The eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted that we have updated all of our documentation to recommend that the Maps APIs be loaded from maps.googleapis.com rather than maps.google.com or maps-api-ssl.google.com. When loaded from maps.googleapis.com, the current implementation of the Maps API v3 does not rely on the exchange of cookies with Google. This improves both the security of the API, and the performance on bandwidth constrained networks. We therefore recommend all sites switch to using maps.googleapis.com.

Faster reflection of MapMaker edits

Edits made using MapMaker are now reflected in the Maps API at the same time they are reflected on Google Maps. For many countries, including the U.S.A., this means that corrections made with MapMaker can reach the Maps API within 15 minutes.

Map coverage of Israel

We now have map data coverage in the Maps API for Israel across all services, including map tiles, geocoding, directions, and places. Try clicking on the below map to generate routes around Jerusalem:



Street View preview

We’ve added the preview thumbnail that pops up when you hover the Street View pegman over streets before dropping him on the map. Try it now by dragging pegman over this map:



Animated transitions between 45 degree headings

Take our new animated transitions for a spin! Simply load the below map using Chrome or Safari, and click the Rotate button. For extra spininess, click twice, then zoom out!



High DPI map tiles on mobile devices

Load the JS Maps API on a mobile device with a high DPI screen, such as the Samsung Nexus S or Apple iPhone 4, and the Maps API now uses double resolution map tiles for maximum on screen fidelity.

We’re keen to continue improving the API in ways both big and small. If you have any great ideas for ways we could make the API even better, we’d love to hear them! Just submit a Feature request using the Maps API Issue Tracker, and vote for any other ideas you’d love to see implemented. If enough people vote for your idea, we’ll look into implementing it!


(Text relating to behavior of cookies and the Google Maps API v3 edited on August 6th 2012)