Google Maps API Version 2 released

Google has just announced the new version of their hugely popular Google Maps API. As I wrote back in January, Google Maps is used in 55% of the mashups that John Musser has indexed in his excellent Mashup Feed website.

google maps_res_logo.gifGoogle has just announced the new version of their hugely popular Google Maps API. As I wrote back in January, Google Maps is used in 55% of the mashups that John Musser has indexed in his excellent Mashup Feed website. In fact as of the current date, that figure is 54% (307 Google Map API examples out of 564 total mashups listed). The next best is the Flickr API, which is used in 59 of the mashups (10%).

So what's new in Google Maps API v2? Using John Musser's summary:

  • JavaScript download is about 50% smaller
  • On ‘overview map’ that displays a mini collapsible map in corner
  • Greater extensibility for custom controls, overlays and map types
  • Fewer memory leaks and a handy debugging window
  • No page view limits (over 500K/day and they’ll want you to give them a heads-up)
  • 90-day notice before any advertising related change

So highlights include smaller code weight, more extensibility and better terms of service (TOS). John also noted that Google Maps still has no geocoding service, for converting addresses to latitude and longitude. Yahoo! offers this, so it's definitely something Google needs to (ahem) address.

V2 appears to be backward-compatible with most existing calls to the V1 API, but for full details check the upgrade documentation.

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