Geographical Information System (GIS) – Mapinfo
Google had several new feature announcements for the Google Maps API in the last few months, including high resolution static maps, the new Street View Image API, and the use of high DPI map tiles in the JS Maps API on mobile devices. I’m here to give you some tips for using these new features to improve your existing mobile JS map app.
1. Upgrade Your App to Use the v3 API
If you’re still using the v2 Google Maps API it’s time to change that. Period. This is one of the best improvements you can make to your map app. The v3 Google Maps API was designed for the mobile web and it is significantly faster than its predecessor. Not only is the v3 Google Maps API designed to load fast on mobile browsers, but your app will be upgraded immediately because your map will automatically access high DPI map tiles, which have better on screen fidelity.
2. Use the Static Maps API to Improve User Experience
3. Use StreetView Images to Provide More Context
Chances are your map app gives users access to all kinds of information, whether it’s your own data and images or our very own Places API. Give your users some additional context by using the Street View Image API to provide a general idea of what a location looks like at street level. When you provide a location in your URL request, the API will snap to the panorama photographed closest to that particular location.
4. Use the JS Maps API Only When It Makes Sense
If all you need is a small map for context, you should be using the Static Maps API. This may seem obvious, but we’ve come across a few mobile apps that seem to use the JS Maps API to provide nothing more than a thumbnail. Use the Static Maps API to load a small image and, if needed, link that thumbnail to open up a larger map (whether your own page that uses the JS Maps API or maps.google.com).
And again, if you’re still using the deprecated v2 Google Maps API in any of your apps (mobile or otherwise), it’s time to migrate your app to the v3 Google Maps API, as Google are more than halfway through the three year deprecation period.
A few months ago we showed you Matt Fox’s excellent topographic maps of New Zealand, which were quite impressive. Over the years he’s had many requests to create similar maps with seamless USGS topographic data, and now he’s starting to roll them out on his site.
As you can see from the image above, the maps are remarkably sharp. The are distributed through a rather unique system; rather than just downloading a KMZ file, you download an installation program that adds the maps to your PC as Super Overlays. To try it for yourself, Matt is offering a free download of the San Francisco area, available here.
The new maps are significantly higher quality.
For more, be sure to visit Google Earth Library and read Matt’s full blog entry.
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
– Marie Curie (1867–1934)
French physicist and chemist
two-time Nobel Prize winner
Think about your work (contribution).
Whether you feel lucky or not with what you’ve been given (or earned) as your opportunity to work, you’re ultimately just a steward of it for a relatively brief period in time.
It will be handed off to someone else at some point (your territory, your team, your customers).
If you thought of that work as being put in a box to be given to someone else, what would you want the recipient to think when they opened it up?
Wouldn’t you want it to be something that’s difficult to improve on?
Wouldn’t you want them to crack open that box… look in… smile… and say… “Wow. That’s great work.”
Clearly Google doesn’t understand anything about Professional GIS. 30 years ago, GIS and CAD came to a conclusion. GIS would work outside the building shell and CAD would handle the inside. Clearly this has been respected for a generation of GISPs.
But in typical Google fashion, they ignore the truce and now their GIS system (yes I’m not crazy) supports inside the building queries.
Detailed floor plans automatically appear when you’re viewing the map and zoomed in on a building where indoor map data is available. The familiar “blue dot” icon indicates your location within several meters, and when you move up or down a level in a building with multiple floors, the interface will automatically update to display which floor you’re on. All this is achieved by using an approach similar to that of ‘My Location’ for outdoor spaces, but fine tuned for indoors.
So it is a stupid Andoid app and nothing more, for now. But clearly there is an API in there just waiting to be used. Of course New Yorker’s fear being tracked on their cell phones so it remains to be seen if Google will feel any backlash for tracking your cell phone (cue the old “opt-in” defense).
Now I’m not sure how stupid Google thinks users are though. Is “Find my Favorite Coffee Shop” still something that people need help with?
via:James Fee GIS