Google dives deeper on vector-based maps with API update

Google dives deeper on vector-based maps with API update

Summary: Google boasts that its new API will enable apps to support vector-based maps that load quicker and also support navigation in 2D and 3D viewing.


Google is diving deeper into the world of vector-based maps through an update to its API for Google Maps on Android.

Andrew Foster, senior product manager of the Google Maps team, cited in a blog post on Monday that more than 800,000 sites around the world are already using Google's mapping APIs. The update is being introduced as part of the Google Play services launch.

But it also coincides with some more competition surrounding 3D mapping technologies being produced by some of Google's mobile competitors, such as Apple and, more recently, Nokia's Here platform.

The Internet giant is touting that its new API gives developers the ability to use Google's mapping platform to build better Android apps with vector-based maps that load quickly but also support navigation in 2D and 3D viewing.


Specifically, some of the new features included in the upgrade API consist of support for more layers (i.e. satellite, hybrid, traffic, etc.) along with the ability to create markers and information windows using less code.

For a closer look at the updated Google Maps Android API, check out the promo video below:

Image via the Google Lat Long blog

Topics: Google, Android, Apps, Software Development

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  • "API will enable apps to support vector-based maps" -- Google finally ...

    ... catches up with Apple maps?

    • ha - not quite

      apple maps was disaster that foolishly tried to leap frog google maps with obviously far from ready overall platform. Google's new vector tech will do correctly what apple tried to do, unquestionably blowing away all else.
      • Apple's vector technology is perfect, the issue was and still partially is

        ... with content, not vector technology.
        • right

          the content is the hard part. Google has that right already.
        • Apple map is a perfect technology

          So successful, Apple fired the Apple Map manager.
    • Nope

      Google had vector-based maps on Android before Apple maps even existed. The difference is that now that technology is available via Google's maps API, meaning that developers can use it in their own Android applications. As far as I know, Apple maps doesn't have an API at all, let alone one with support for vector maps.
      • This is why "(j/k)" in my post

        The subject.