One Week of Google Maps – Part 5

This is Part 5 of a week long series featuring code for the Google Maps API.

After loading address latitude/longitude information, the next most desired feature for a Google Maps developer is the ability, for the end-user, to link to a particular map that they’re viewing. I’ve taken this concept one step further:

  • A link, to the current view of the map, can be provided to the user. Additionally, the link can be automatically updated everytime the user moves the map or zooms in/out.
  • The last view that a user was looking at, on your map, is automatically loaded the next time they visit your site.
  • A new info window is available which, when revealed, provides the user with a way to link to that specific marker’s coordinates.

These features, once combined, add a lot of much-needed usability to the API. Using this code is fairly foolproof too. Below is a chunk of code taken from the demo, demonstrating all the important features of this addition to the API.

// If the user has been here before, load the last point they were at
// "testmap" is the name of this particular map - you'll need a unique
// name for each map you make, per domain
if ( ! map.loadPos("testmap") )
  // If the user has never been here before, show the default point/zoom
  map.centerAndZoom(new GPoint(-122.1419, 37.4419), 4);

// Update this link everytime the user moves/zooms the map
map.updateLink( document.getElementById("link") );

// A sample marker
var m = new GMarker( new GPoint(-122.1419, 37.4419) );
map.addOverlay( m );

GEvent.addListener( m, "click", function() {
  // Show an Info Window with a link in it
  m.openLinkWindowHtml( "a test window!" );

To view a demo of these features, please click here.

The Javascript file can be downloaded here

Posted: August 17th, 2005

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