In 2005, Adrian Holovaty launched the first crime mashup that overlaid Chicago’s public crime data onto online maps providing Chicago’s citizens and journalists with a true picture of crime in their city. The site won the 2005 Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism and was named by The New York Times as one of 2005's best ideas.
In honor of this very special birthday, we took a chance to check back in with Adrian to see what he thought about the journey of the Google Maps API over the past 5 years:
These days, it's hard to fathom a Web without embeddable maps. Wasn't it always that way? To Google's eternal credit, instead of shutting these hacks down, they recognized the demand and legitimized it in the form of their mapping API.
The Google Maps API has seen some significant milestones of its own during the past five years. Some of the announcements we’re most proud of are the Maps API for Flash, Static Maps API, our Enterprise offering Maps API Premier, and the new Maps API v3, built with mobile use cases in mind and recently graduated from Code Labs.
The Google Maps API has established itself as the most popular Google API and the most deployed service-based API on the web. We continue to be amazed by how popular this API continues to be for web and mobile apps being developed today. This ProgrammableWeb dashboard shows that of the apps built and submitted over the past 2 weeks, a quarter of them make use of the Google Maps API. Click the 'All Time' tab and you'll see that nearly half of the almost 5000 cataloged mashups use it.
Today, on this 5 year milestone, we really have all of you to thank for this incredible chapter in web and mapping development. The remarkable levels of innovation, creativity and interest have come from all of you. You saw the possibilities the Google Maps API held and what it could be combined with to create, and you built it. Now join us to celebrate! Keir Clarke from Google Maps Mania has created a mashup that we want all of you to contribute to. Since we can’t all share a giant cake, I think it’s fitting that we all build a giant mashup of mashups to mark this special API birthday. Please tag your Google Maps mashup or tool to the map wherever you are:
We’re looking forward to the next 5 years of mapping innovation together with all of you!