Exploring the Google Maps API


Article from Issue 64/2006

We’ll show you how to incorporate interactive maps into your web pages with the Google Maps API.

The engineers at Google have released a JavaScript(or ECMAScript[1])-based API that lets users create programs that incorporate maps and satellite pictures of the Earth. The Google Maps API even lets you embed a map-enhanced application in a website so that it will run from a browser without any additional server- side infrastructure. We tried out the Google Maps API on an example program that calculates the distance between points on a map. The Key The Google Maps API is available without charge as long as users follow some guidelines specified by Google [2]. Users must make any creations freely available to the public, not exceeding a specific number of queries each day, and not hiding the Google brand wherever it may be displayed. In order to use the API, you must obtain a key identifying yourself as a user. You can get a key from [3] as long as you have a Google account. Any Gmail account will be enough, but if even if you are not a Gmail user, you can create an account. Each key is associated with an access URL. If you do not have web space to host your Google Maps application, but you have an Apache server running locally, you can register the address http:// localhost.

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