Google Maps

The Google Maps API is a clever bits of Google technology that helps you take the power of Google Maps and put it directly on your own site. It lets you add relevant content that is useful to your visitors and customise the look and feel of the map to fit with the style of your site.

What is Google Maps API?

After the initial success of reverse-engineered mashups like the, Google has released the Google Maps API in mid 2005 to enable developers embed Google Maps into their websites. Google Maps API allows you to add suited content useful to your visitors and seamlessly manage the look and feel of the map to fit the style of your website.

Google provided us with Google Maps a desktop and mobile web mapping service app for websites integration with own data points. At this point this service is free and it does not contain any ads but in the future Google stated that they reserve the right to display ads. Embedding the full Google Maps site into an external website is possible by using the Google Maps API. The Google Maps API key is no longer required for API version 3, although in the past developers were required to request an API key, which is bound to the website and directory entered when creating the key.

To create a custom map interface it requires adding the Google JavaScript code to a page, and afterward it requires Javascript functions to add points to the map. When initially launched the Google API had no ability to geocode addresses, requiring users to manually add points in latitude and longitude formats but this features has been added since then. At the same time with Google's Maps API, Yahoo released its own Maps API, the Yahoo!Maps. Unfortunately for Yahoo, its Maps API lacks international support.

Currently Google Maps for mobile is a very popular application for handsets, with more than half of global users using it at least once from their mobiles. Google Maps offers images with high resolution either aerial or satellite for most urban areas worldwide.

Since the end of 2006, Google Gadgets' Google Maps implementation is simpler, requiring only one line of script, unfortunately not being as customizable as the complete API. Also in the same year, Yahoo! started a campaign to improve its maps to better compete with Google Maps and several of the maps used were similar to Google Maps. Some of the first mass-scale Google Maps adopters were real estate mash-up web sites as Google Maps is pushing hard the commercial use of it API.