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New Tools Help You Build Better Maps

Example of progressbarcontrol

What’s cooler than Google Maps? Tools built on top of it. Developers from the Netherlands have released some helpful libraries to make more usable, interactive Google Maps.

Google hosts an open source utility library with several useful examples. Among them, a drag-to-zoom feature and a way to create dynamic labeled markers.

A progress bar is among the new additions to the libraries. When adding more than just a few markers, it can take some time. Rather than make your users sit through the slow-down, this library shows the progress via a popup status bar that fills as it completes.

The other new library, SnapToRoute, allows developers to restrict some actions to just along a polyline. The example included shows zooming along a specific route.

I love these sorts of libraries that make creating advanced maps easy. Of course, I’d love to see platform-independent examples, so developers of any map API could benefit. These libraries would be great to see as a part of Mapstraction, the multi-map I covered in a tutorial.

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