Simon Willison’s Weblog

Google Maps and XSL

I’ll probably write more on this later, but it seems that Google Maps is using XSL. I spotted it loading the following pages while sniffing its activity with LiveHTTPHeaders:

This is in addition to the (now expected) XMLHttpRequest stuff. There even appears to be some of Microsoft’s weird VML, although as I’m on a Mac I don’t have access to IE/Windows to see what it’s doing with it.

The bulk of the Google Maps JavaScript appears to be hidden away in maps.1.js, which becomes a lot more readable if you feed it through PrettyPrinter.de

As for Google Maps itself, it’s an amazing piece of work but it’s a shame they didn’t follow map.search.ch’s lead in degrading gracefully to a static version for unsupported browsers.

If anyone has any further insights in to how it all works, please post them in a comment.

Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2005/02/08/maps