Monday, September 26, 2005

Updates from the world of google map hacking

Since I recently had a knee operation, I've had some time to lounge around the house—which is sort of like torture for me. Can't stand to be doing nothing. I mean, there is only so much Rita tracking one man can stomach.

So I spent some time updating my google map application, the San Francisco Schools Information Map. Lots of fun.:

  • I completely overhauled the HTML to integrate it with the sfschools blog.
  • Used color coded, small icons (borrowed from google labs)
  • Added lots more linkage in each school's info bubble
  • Figured out how to support new map modes, like hybrid -- and made hybrid the default

But I am still left with the impression that the google map API is a defensive move on google's part. It's just good enough to blow peoples' minds. But it's not good enough for real, robust map apps.

Unless I'm missing something, the inability to iterate over map objects, or the lack of any map DOM documentation, limits what I can do too much. Maybe there is some way for me to remove markers from a map without having to delete the map and regenerate it with only the desired markers—but I don't see it.

Still, it is amazing that google has made it so easy to put together an app like this. I may gripe, but I'm loving it.

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