The Mashups Book
Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS
Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS by Sterling Udell takes you through the basics of Google Maps, explaining almost every line of code in considerable detail.
One common problem with books related to the Internet is that they get out of date really fast. The Google Maps API continues to grow, with new features being added all the time. That doesn’t apply to this book very much because it doesn’t push the boundaries of what’s available. In fact, the author recommends that for live sites you load a specific version of the API code, so as to be protected against possible future changes in the API. The examples in the book are written to use release v2.124, which came out in August 2008.
Throughout the book, the author encourages the use of appropriate standards and best coding practice.
The book is divided into four parts.
Part 1: The Geoweb and the Google Maps API explains the basic philosophy behind the Mashupconcept – that machine readable Geodata in standard formats can allow that other people to map the data in useful ways that the creator of the data never thought of. It covers creating your first Google Map, using GGeoXml to add someone else’s data to it, and adding some extra features like driving directions and traffic overlays.
Part 2: Mashing up Google Maps with Mapplets covers creating and publishing simple Mapplets. The author provides a modified version of my EGeoXml extension which uses iGoogle Gadget calls to read KML files from any domain, thus allowing XML files to be rendered within the mapplet.
Part 3: Ready for the big leagues An assortment of slightly more advanced API topics is covered, plus the ability to use PHP and SQL to dynamically generate KML and GeoRSS feeds. Finally there’s a case study of a comprehensive project.
Appendixes These cover:
- Mapping concepts: like latitude, longitude and the Mercator projection
- Debugging tips
- A list of online resources