We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Richer maps experience coming to third-party Android apps

Google's new Maps API offers developers more features

Google is offering Android application developers a chance to use some of the advanced mapping features it had previously made available only on Google's own applications.

On Monday, the company released a new version of the Google Maps API, a software interface that allows third-party applications to utilize and integrate data from Google Maps. The Google Maps API 2.0 adds features that will allow developers to offer a much more interactive experience within their software, said Andrew Foster, senior product manager for Google Maps.

"This API allows developers to access a lot of the features we've built into maps on Android," Foster said by phone from Australia. "It's quite different from the top down, north facing maps we've had."

He cited features such as the ability to tilt and rotate maps, either automatically using software code or through a user's on-screen gestures, and 3D buildings as examples of the new features. The 3D buildings are available from some cities, including San Francisco where Google also offers floor plans for some buildings. These are also offered through the new API.

The new API also makes it easier for developers to drop markers on maps and mark out overlays, lines and polygons, said Foster.

With the launch of the new API, it moves under the umbrella of Google's new "Play services" platform.

Android devices will be automatically updated over the next couple of days to include the Google Play services platform support. Developers can download the SDK now and begin working on new apps that make use of the features.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is [email protected]


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals UK: Latest bargains on phones, tablets, laptops and more this...

IDG UK Sites

Tech trends 2015: 3D printing grows up

IDG UK Sites

10 mind-blowing Oculus Rift experiments that reveal VR's practical potential

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & other Black Friday tech offers