Friday, February 14, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Marker ClusteringWhen you have a lot of data to show, it can be hard to keep your app from becoming cluttered and messy. One solution is to group nearby markers into a single marker (cluster marker). When viewed zoomed in, individual markers are shown. However, as the user zooms out, markers group together into a single cluster marker.
You can also easily customize the appearance of individual and clustered markers.
Left: clustered markers with default look
Right: custom rendering for clusters using the
Marker clustering is ideal for visualising a large number of elements on a map whilst minimising clutter. You see a concise summary of your data when zoomed out, and as the markers separate when you zoom in, you don't lose any detail from your data.
HeatmapsHeatmaps are another new visualisation available in the utility library. Heatmaps represent geospatial data on a map by using different colours to represent areas with different concentrations of points - showing overall shape and concentration trends. Heatmaps are also known as "intensity maps".
For an overview of the heatmaps library, watch the video below:
You can use a heatmap to visualise any data set that has a geospatial component. For example, the below heatmap shows the population of cities around the world, with cities as points on the heatmap, weighted by population:
To get started with the Android Maps API Utility Library, view the setup guide - you can also view our guides on how to use the marker clustering and the heatmap features. For a summary of previously existing features in the utility library, view Chris Broadfoot's Maps Shortcuts video. As always, if you have any problems using the Android Maps API or the Utility Library, post to StackOverflow - our support page has the right tags to use.
Posted by Emma Yeap and Iris Uy, Engineering Practicum interns at Google Sydney
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Gradient PolylinesIn this release we’ve included gradient polylines which allow you to apply different colors to different segments of your polylines. This allows you to easily indicate changes along your polyline such as speed or elevation.
There are two options:
- the first is to have the color gradually changing into another color (gradient polyline),
- the second is to use different blocks of color along your polyline.
The example below visualizes the elevation along a route using a gradient polyline.
Structured Reverse GeocodingIn the past, our reverse geocoder,
GMSGeocoder, has responded to a latitude/longitude request with the address as a formatted string. In v1.7,
GMSGeocodercan return the address as a
GMSAddressobject, enabling you to easily access the different parts of an address without needing to parse a string. For example if you’re only interested in the country, this is available as address.country. Check out the developer guide for further information about the properties available to you.
URL Schemes & x-callback-urlThe comgooglemaps URL scheme lets you launch Google Maps for iOS, displaying the map at a particular location and zoom level, showing the results of a search, or showing directions. In addition to driving, public transit and walking directions, we’ve now added biking directions to the URL scheme.
There may be times, though, when you want to open Google Maps for iOS directly from within your app, but also want to provide the ability for users to easily return to your app via a back button when they are finished. X-callback-url, an open specification for inter-app communication and messaging between iOS apps, lets you do just that. We’ve documented how to use x-callback-url to launch Google Maps for iOS, and also how to help guide users back to your app when they are ready.
High fidelity 3D buildingsFinally, some of you may know that Google Maps for iOS now has some higher fidelity 3D buildings. If you’d like your app to have access to these 3D buildings, you’ll need to upgrade to v1.7 of the Google Maps SDK for iOS. Check out our favorite, the Eiffel Tower!
We’ve also included a few bug fixes which you can read about in the release notes.
We’re always interested to hear how you’re using the Maps APIs, so let us know if you’ve got something cool to show by tagging +Google Maps API on your posts (or comment right here). For technical questions that aren’t answered in the developer documentation, check out the Google Maps developer community on Stack Overflow. Don’t forget to tell us what you’d like to see in the next release using the Google Maps API issue tracker.
Posted by Megan Boundey, Product Manager, Google Maps Mobile APIs
Thursday, December 26, 2013
G’day and welcome to Fab Friday! It’s holiday time in many places around the world, and what better way to celebrate than to watch a series of videos. So kick back, relax, and snag some cool mapping skills.
That rocks! Follow right along with the episodes 2, 3 and 4. Now you’re ready to map and roll.
See how to import data into Google Maps Engine with Josh Livni and Mark McDonald. Google Maps Engine (GME) provides an easy way to create and share maps, and to put data into the Google cloud. Josh and Mark walk through some Python examples, showing various ways to import vector and raster data into your GME account:
Tap the geospatial data in Freebase to put knowledge on your map. Freebase is a dataset of well-known facts about people, places, businesses, and other entities, derived from the web. Josh Livni and Ewa Gasperowicz show you how to query the Freebase API and get back information to put on a map:
Ready for more shows from the Google Maps API team? Find them all at Google Developers Live.
Posted by Sarah Maddox, Maps Developer Relations team
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Earlier today, we introduced a feature in the new Google Maps that enables you to embed a Google Map by copying and pasting an HTML snippet. Make sure you’re opted in, and then head over to Google Maps, click on the gear icon on the lower right, and give it a go.
Like the new Google Maps, embedded maps are now built for you. Your users can sign in to these maps to see relevant content, like their saved places from Google Maps. Conversely, they can also save a location from your embedded map for viewing on Google Maps for desktop or mobile.
To top it off, embedded maps are free of usage limits, so you don’t have to worry about quotas.
Finally, over the coming weeks we’ll be introducing a new ad experience we think is attractive for users of the new Google Maps embed. This new on-map design will allow relevant local businesses to connect with your users, similar to the ads you currently see in the new Google Maps and Google Maps for Mobile. As part of this release, we’ve also updated the Google Maps/Earth APIs Terms of Service to enable us to launch new APIs with advertising. Existing APIs and new APIs launched without advertising retain the requirement for Google to provide 90 days notice prior to including ads.
Friday, November 22, 2013
And finally, Fab Friday isn’t complete without a video. This week we’ve got Mapping Big Data with Google's Cloud Platform, with Francesc Campoy Flores and Kurt Schwehr. Take a look:
That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend, and happy mapping!
Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations team
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
To make autocomplete even more accurate and useful, we’re excited to announce an update that automatically biases predictions towards the user’s location based on the requester’s IP address. Now, results that are closer to the user will appear sooner in the API’s responses, saving users even more keystrokes and time. For a calendar app like Sunrise, where editing and adding locations quickly is important, this is a clear win for their users.
If you don’t want automatic location biasing via IP address, it can always be turned off by including other location biasing parameters in the autocomplete requests.
We’re also happy to announce our documentation now also includes a handy CSS guide to help developers add their own flair and style to the Autocomplete widgets.
With more accurate responses and customizability options, the Places API team is looking forward to more useful and beautiful autocomplete integrations. Please visit our developer documentation to learn more about the Places API. If you have technical questions, post them to the Google Maps API StackOverflow community, and if you have any feedback, please send it to us using the Google Maps API Issue Tracker.
Posted by Kevin Tran, Places API software engineer