The big thing in web graphics the last few years has been mapping. Online maps don’t specifically introduce anything new to the world of web graphics; it’s the visualization of mapping that’s the fun part, because maps form a canvas on which we can paint.
There is mapping software that works with your GPS device, hosted maps, and even Google Earth, which provides hidden goodies, such as piloting (and crashing) an F15 fighter over a “real” area. In this chapter, though, I walk through a couple of the mapping systems that allow us to create maps within our own spaces, supported by our own applications.
I’m covering Google Maps, of course, it being the daddy of the bunch. Yahoo! also provides a way of hosting maps, so we’ll take a look at it, too. I’m also going to spend some time discussing how you can integrate mapping data, and thus mapping, into your photos, your events, your recent hike—virtually anything that has an associated location.
Both Yahoo! and Google Maps provide a way to embed a map directly in your web pages, and then alter it with markers, notes, and routes, as well as controlling the view and number of controls. Other than that, they really are quite different.
Google was the originator of freely accessible mapping services, but it has one major limitation: you have to get a Google API key for one directory, and it only works with that directory. It won’t work for subdirectories (subfolders), which means that a key that works with http://somecompany.com ...