Google Maps Developers Gain GeoJSON Support for Richer Maps

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-04-06 Print this article Print

Google is often adding new features to its Google Maps tools for developers.

In March 2014, Google unveiled a new Google Maps Embed API that aims to make it easier for Website designers to place detailed Google Maps into Web pages so that customers can locate their physical locations more easily. The new API improves on a previous move by Google in December 2013, when the search giant began allowing Website owners and bloggers to embed and use Google Maps images for free. Using the new Google Maps Embed API, developers can now more easily customize the location and appearance of a map with a handful of simple URL parameters, according to a previous eWEEK report.

Use of the new Google Maps Embed API is free. The new API includes the same on-map advertising capabilities that were unveiled last December when the use of the Maps was extended for free.

Earlier in December 2013, Google Maps announced that it was gaining some spectacular map imagery from the National Geographic Society, which is contributing some 500 of its maps to Google Map's new public data program. Under the Google Maps Engine public data program, organizations can now distribute their map content to consumers using Google's cloud infrastructure, according to Google. And that's where National Geographic's contribution came in, bringing digital images of many of the long-popular printed maps that are often tucked inside the latest issues of the magazine. To do that, National Geographic uses the Google Maps Engine to overlay the maps with interactive editorial content so the maps can tell stories and raise awareness about environmental issues and historic events.

The Google Maps Engine public data program provides advanced tools that allow map producers to publish their public mapping content to the world. Organizations that produce maps, such as public data providers and governments that have content in the public good, can apply to participate in the program, according to Google.

In October 2013, Google released Google Maps Engine Pro to make it easier for businesses to use online maps to attract customers and new revenue. The new professional mapping tool lets businesses visualize their huge amounts of critical data on maps so they can take advantage of the new resources the data provides, according to Google.


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