Simon Willison’s Weblog

Blogmarks tagged googlemaps

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Google Maps’s Moat. Gorgeous essay by digital cartographer Justin O’Beirne, exploring how Google Maps has evolved over time and how the fantastically useful “areas of interest” feature (where commercial corridors and business districts are automatically highlighted) uses data derived from a combination of Street View business data and 3D building outlines derived from aerial imagery. # 23rd December 2017, 9:35 am

Google Maps and Label Readability. Obsessively detailed analysis of exactly what makes Google Maps so readable when compared to Yahoo! and Bing. # 3rd December 2010, 5:08 pm

Diffable: only download the deltas. JavaScript library for detecting and serving diffs to JavaScript rather than downloading large scripts every time a few lines of code are changed. “Using Diffable has reduced page load times in Google Maps by more than 1200 milliseconds (~25%). Note that this benefit only affects users that have an older version of the script in cache. For Google Maps that’s 20-25% of users.” # 11th July 2010, 12:19 pm

getlatlon.com commit dae961a... I’ve finally added an OpenStreetMap tab to getlatlon.com—here’s the diff, it turns out adding a custom OpenStreetMap layer to an existing Google Maps application only takes a few lines of boilerplate code. # 10th July 2010, 12:22 pm

Cartographer.js. “Thematic mapping for Google Maps”—which means an easy way of adding heat maps (aka chloropleths), pie charts and point clusters as a layer over a Google map. # 1st November 2009, 1:20 pm

Static Maps API v2. The new version of the Google Static Maps API (static images generated using arguments in a URL, no JavaScript required) adds support for paths, areas and automatically geocoding addresses to specify locations of markers and the centre of the map. # 26th August 2009, 9:01 am

Making Image Overlays Easy with GGroundOverlay and GGeoXML (via) Surprisingly, there doesn’t appear to be a good online tool for helping align an overlay image with a Google Map and exporting the result as a KML file. This is the best I could find—Yahoo! used to have a tool called MapMixer but it doesn’t seem to exist any more. # 30th July 2009, 10:58 pm

Announcing Google Maps API v3. Sounds like a complete rewrite, with performance as the key goal. Only a developer preview at the moment, but my favourite feature is that API keys are no longer required. # 28th May 2009, 1:22 am

Google Maps Data API (via) I’m disappointed by this one—it’s really just a CRUD store for the KML files used in Google MyMaps. It would be a lot more useful if it let you perform geospatial calculations against your stored map data using some kind of query API—a cloud service alternative to tools like PostGIS. # 20th May 2009, 9:07 pm

AJAX APIs Playground. Ferociously useful collection of executable and editable example code for all(?) of Google’s JavaScript APIs, including Google Maps and the increasingly interesting Visualization API. # 22nd January 2009, 6:38 pm

FOWA London—Beyond GoogleMaps. Andrew Turner’s talk at FOWA was the most information dense presentation I’ve ever seen, and discussed a huge number of cool geo projects that I’d never previously heard of. Andrew links to the full slides and video, well worth a watch. # 17th October 2008, 2:01 pm

Google’s Wikipedia and Panoramio layers are now available in the API. I really like their use of reverse domain style identifiers for the layer IDs: map.addOverlay(new GLayer(“org.wikipedia”)); # 2nd October 2008, 11:59 am

Capital Radio’s London Guide. Worth pointing out: the search / map interface on this page is one of the best examples of progressive enhancement I’ve ever seen. Try disabling JavaScript and see what happens. It seems like most developers just can’t be bothered with this kind of attention to detail these days, which disappoints me. # 29th August 2008, 1:48 am

MapIconMaker. Extension API that lets you programatically construct a Google Maps bubble marker icon with a custom size, gradient and stroke colour. Under the hood it uses the Google Chart API with the (undocumented?) “mm” chart type. # 11th August 2008, 8:48 am

HeatMapAPI (via) Cool (or should that be hot?) API for adding heat maps to any Google Maps application. # 19th July 2008, 11:46 pm

Capital FM London Traffic Map. We launched this today at GCap (née Global Radio). I’m particularly impressed with how well the team handled clustering the traffic cameras on the Google map. # 27th June 2008, 6:22 pm

Google Maps now shows photos and Wikipedia articles. Click the “More...” button. My first thought was “how do they get so many photo markers on the map?”—Firebug shows that they’re generating tiles on the server containing multiple photo markers, then when you click on one an Ajax call checks which photo is in that particular spot. # 14th May 2008, 7:10 pm

KML: A new standard for sharing maps. Google’s KML format, which is already supported by both Microsoft and Yahoo!’s map software, has been accepted under the wing of the Open Geospatial Consortium and is now an international standard. # 14th April 2008, 6:36 pm

Google Maps Without the Scripting. Google Maps has finally added a simple API for retrieving static map images. # 4th March 2008, 11:54 pm

Google Maps Clusterer. I’ve looked at a few clustering libraries for Google Maps, but this one seems to have the nicest API. # 28th January 2008, 3:07 pm

The Art & Science of JavaScript. The JavaScript book I contributed to is now shipping! My chapter describes how to build a Flickr / Google Maps mashup entirely using client-side code (via JSON-P). # 12th January 2008, 7:05 pm

Google apps for your newsroom. How the LJ World team use online tools like Google Spreadsheet, Swivel, ManyEyes and Google MyMaps to collaborate with the newsroom and build data-heavy applications even faster. # 7th January 2008, 9:24 pm

Encoded Polyline Algorithm Format. Google Maps does some pretty crazy bit mangling to create compressed versions of lat/long pairs. # 4th January 2008, 4:12 pm

ExtInfoWindow 1.0: Ajax powered, CSS customization. Finally, a semi-official way of creating customised info windows for the Google Maps API. You lose the default shadow but gain the ability to style the entire info window using CSS. # 15th December 2007, 12:22 pm

Unobtrusively Mapping Microformats with jQuery. My contribution to 24 ways: using Mapstraction to geocode hCards (extracted with jQuery) and plot them on a Google Map. # 12th December 2007, 12:28 am

Shadowmaker. Upload a PNG with a transparent background and get back a shadow image suitable for use with the Google Maps API. # 10th December 2007, 3:45 pm

OpenStreetMap on the iPhone! Via an ingenious hack. The Google Maps iPhone client caches downloaded tiles using SQLite—to display your own custom tiles, you just need to dump them straight in to the “cache”. # 22nd October 2007, 3:30 pm

Get Lat Lon. I finally got fed up of hunting around for simple latitude/longitude tools when messing around with mapping APIs, so I built my own with a memorable URL. I plan to add new features as and when I need them. # 12th October 2007, 2:14 pm

Google Maps, HTML version. Google’s mostly undocumented accessible version of Google Maps. Robin Christopherson demonstrated this yesterday at FOWA. # 4th October 2007, 9:31 am

Brighton geek venues. Nat’s latest project: a neat Google Maps mashup listing venues for geek events in Brighton, managed using Google MyMaps to edit a KML file. # 16th August 2007, 1:38 am