Google Makes Changes in Content API, Maps JavaScript API Libraries

The Content API for Shopping gets a new version, while two Google Maps JavaScript API libraries are being phased out

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Google has just launched a new version of its Content API for Shopping for Google AdWords marketers, while also announcing plans to phase out support for two older Google Maps JavaScript API libraries.

The availability of the new Content API was announced by Eric Tholomé, director of product management for Google Shopping, in a June 6 post on the Google Inside AdWords Blog.

"A few years ago, we introduced the Google Content API for Shopping to help you manage and update your Google Merchant Center product information programmatically and at scale," wrote Tholomé. "Today, we're excited to announce a new version of this API, giving you more insight into your data quality and new options to help you keep your data fresh."

Using the new version, online marketers can get item-level information that can show whether landing page URLs are working when buyers are perusing items, as well as whether unique product identifiers are inaccurate on the pages, wrote Tholomé. Other new capabilities include being able to update price and availability information for items on the site more quickly, and improved integration with Google Shopping.

"While the current API will continue to be available until the end of February 2015, we encourage you to adopt the latest version of this API and take advantage of these new features as early as possible," wrote Tholomé. More information on the new API and on the transition is available at the Content API for Shopping hub or on the Content API for Shopping support forum.

The Google Maps JavaScript API libraries that are being phased out are the Google Maps JavaScript API v3 Panoramio Library and Weather Library, according to a June 4 post by Ken Hoetmer, the product manager of the Google Maps APIs, on the Google Geo Developers Blog.

"In the past few years we've seen GeoJSON explode as a method to share geographic data and developers are using GeoJSON to create amazing visualizations," wrote Hoetmer. "As a consequence, however, we're seeing less interest in non-customizable layers directly provided by API providers."

That's where the demise of the two libraries comes into play, he wrote. The phase-outs of the Google Maps JavaScript API v3 Panoramio Library and Weather Library are beginning now, with support continuing until June 4, 2015, per the terms of Google's deprecation policy.

"We'd also like to remind developers that the Flash Maps API's deprecation period ends on September 2, 2014," Hoetmer wrote. "The Flash Maps API will shut down on that date, so if you're still using the API, it's time to start planning your migration."

Google is always working on APIs for its products. Earlier this month, Google unveiled its latest Google Maps Android API v2, with new Street View imagery capabilities and more controls for developers as they use the API for indoor maps. Both features were added to the Google Play Services 4.4 release in May, but are now part of the latest Google Maps Android API.

In February 2014, the Google Maps Android API Utility Library received a host of updates, including two key data visualization features—marker clustering and heat maps—that are aimed at improving the tools developers have when they are building apps for Google Maps on Android.